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Keywords:

  • feeding disorders;
  • diagnostic subtypes;
  • dyadic interactions;
  • maternal and child risk factors

Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to examine the differences among three subtypes of feeding disorders (FD), defined through the criteria of the DC:0-3R: “Infantile Anorexia” (IA), “Feeding Disorder Associated with Insults to the Gastrointestinal Tract” (FDIGT), and “Sensory Food Aversions” (SFA), by exploring mother–child interactions during feeding, children's temperament and emotional–adaptive functioning, and mothers' psychological profile and eating attitudes.

Method:

The sample consisted of 146 Italian mother–child pairs, of which 51 children with IA, 47 children with FDIGT, and 48 mothers and their children with SFA. All dyads were videotaped during feeding; mothers completed questionnaires assessing their psychological profiles and eating attitudes, as well as their children's temperament and emotional/behavioral functioning.

Results:

Analyses revealed significant differences between the diagnostic groups of FD in relation to mother–child interactions during feeding, children's temperament and emotional–adaptive functioning, and mothers' psychological profile and eating attitudes.

Discussion:

Both interactional and individual variables may contribute differently to specific FD and outcomes during childhood. Definitions by FD subtypes, using operational diagnostic criteria, and the assessment of mother–child interactions are relevant to target interventions strategies to treat specific disorders. © 2012 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2013)