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Abstract

This study examined the interactional patterns of mothers and their infants who showed food refusal (N = 24) and of mothers and infants in a control group (N = 24) during feeding and play. The observations revealed significant group differences in both infant and maternal behavior. Infants in the case group rejected food more often and showed less clear communication signals than control infants, and mothers of case infants were less sensitive, less cooperative, and had more verbal teaching/control behavior than the control group. These differences pertained to both feeding and play situations. The findings have implications for the development of appropriate and efficient intervention strategies for infants showing food refusal.