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Keywords:

  • infants;
  • temperament;
  • feeding difficulties;
  • maternal cognitions

Abstract

Objective

The current study examined the contribution of prenatal and postnatal maternal core beliefs, self-esteem, psychopathologic symptoms, and postnatal infant temperament to the prediction of infant feeding difficulties.

Method

Ninety-nine women completed questionnaires assessing their core beliefs, psychopathology, and self-esteem during pregnancy and at 6 months postpartum. At 6 months, mothers also rated their infant's temperament and feeding, and were ob-served feeding their infants.

Results

Maternal reports of child feeding difficulties were predicted by higher levels of emotional deprivation and entitlement core beliefs and lower levels of self-sacrifice and enmeshment core beliefs during pregnancy. Postnatal social isolation core beliefs, lower maternal self-esteem, and more difficult infant temperament added significantly to the variance explained by prenatal factors. Maternal core beliefs, self-esteem, psychopathology, and infant temperament failed to significantly predict independent observations of child food refusal.

Conclusion

Maternal cognitions are implicated in the development of maternal reports of feeding difficulty. © 2005 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.