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Keywords:

  • child;
  • parenting;
  • feeding;
  • obsessive compulsive;
  • eating disorder;
  • restriction

Abstract

Objective:

Symptoms of maternal eating disorders have been linked with the use of maladaptive restrictive child feeding practices. However, how these symptoms impact upon restriction in child feeding is poorly understood. The aims of this research were to assess whether symptoms of obsessive compulsiveness, which are often comorbid with eating disorder symptoms, mediate the relationships between maternal eating disorder symptoms and the use of restrictive feeding practices.

Method:

A total of 128 mothers of children aged 2–6 years completed measures of their restrictive feeding practices, symptoms of eating disorders, and obsessive compulsiveness.

Results:

Maternal restriction was positively correlated with symptoms of drive for thinness, bulimia, and checking and cleaning obsessions and compulsions. Cleaning obsessions and compulsions mediated the relationships between maternal drive for thinness and feeding restriction.

Conclusion:

Cleaning obsessions and compulsions may help to explain the relationships between some symptoms of maternal eating disorders and the use of restrictive feeding practices. © 2008 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Eat Disord 2009