• weight faltering;
  • failure to thrive;
  • depression;
  • parenting;
  • children


This study reports on the first phase of a large-scale, longitudinal, multidisciplinary community study examining the growth, learning and development of young children with a particular focus on failure to thrive without organic cause. However, the group identified in this study may be better described as weight faltering. This paper examines the psychological data collected using the Parenting Stress Index, Rosenberg Self-Esteem and the General Health Questionnaire in relation to child growth. There were no significant differences between the mothers of the weight faltering and control children in terms of parenting stress, maternal depression, maternal perceptions of their parenting competence or maternal self-esteem. Maternal sensitivity to comments about child size, regardless of direction, had a negative impact on mood. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.