TREATING CHRONIC FOOD REFUSAL IN YOUNG CHILDREN: HOME-BASED PARENT TRAINING

Authors


DePaul University, Department of Psychology, 2219 N. Kenmore Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60614.

Abstract

We evaluated the effects of a behavioral parent training program on parent and child feeding-related behaviors in the home. We trained mothers to initiate regular offerings of previously rejected (target) foods and to provide contingent attention (i.e., specific prompts, positive reinforcement) to increase their child's acceptance of nonpreferred foods. For 1 subject, we also directed training at increasing self-eating. Results of a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across 3 mother-child dyads demonstrated that, with training, all mothers increased offerings of target foods and use of specific prompts, and 2 mothers increased levels of positive attention. In turn, children increased their acceptance of target foods and self-eating, thus demonstrating the functional effects of parent training on in-home mealtimes. Temporary increases in food refusals occurred when treatment was initiated but declined as treatment continued. We discuss the results in terms of the potential benefits and limitations of a home-based treatment model.

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