Maternal and Paternal Controlling Feeding Practices: Reliability and Relationships With BMI

Authors

  • Emma L. Haycraft,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
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    • Loughborough University Centre for Research into Eating Disorders, Department of Human Sciences, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK

  • Jacqueline M. Blissett

    1. School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK
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(E.Haycraft@lboro.ac.uk)

Abstract

Objective: This study aimed to examine the interrelationships between mothers' and fathers' reports on the child-feeding questionnaire (CFQ), the BMI of parents and their children, and observations of parents' controlling feeding practices at mealtimes.

Methods and Procedures: Twenty-three mothers and twenty-three fathers of children aged between 18 and 67 months reported on their child-feeding practices, on their child's height and weight, and were observed during a normal family mealtime at home.

Results: No associations were found between mothers' reported and observed feeding practices. Fathers' reported pressure to eat and restriction were associated with more controlling observed mealtime feeding practices. Mothers and fathers did not significantly differ in their reported or observed child-feeding practices. Children's BMI was not related to maternal or paternal reported or observed feeding practices. More mealtime pressure was observed in parents with a higher BMI.

Discussion: Fathers' self-reports of their mealtime practices are reliable. Mothers' feeding practices may differ when fathers are present and further work should examine mothers at mealtimes with and without fathers. Although children's BMI was not related to parents' use of reported or observed control, parents with a higher BMI were more controlling, highlighting the importance of considering parents' own weight in future studies.

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