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Parent use of food to soothe infant/toddler distress and child weight status. An exploratory study

Authors
Journal
Appetite
0195-6663
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
57
Issue
3
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2011.08.013
Keywords
  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Parental Feeding
  • Soothing
  • Child Temperament
  • Child Weight Status

Abstract

Abstract The aim of the present study was to explore the parent feeding practice of using food to soothe infant/toddler distress and its relationship to child weight status. Seventy eight families with infants and toddlers (43 males) ranging in age from 3 to 34 months ( M = 14 mos, SD = 9 mos) completed a survey which included questions on their use of food to soothe, questionnaires on parent feeding practices, parenting self-efficacy, child temperament and child's weight and length at the time of their last well-baby visit. Results revealed the use of food to soothe to be a valid construct. In addition, mothers who used food to soothe rated themselves lower in parenting self-efficacy and their children higher in temperamental negativity. Analyses examining weight status as the outcome variable revealed that mothers who reported the use of food to soothe had heavier children, however, this relationship was stronger for children rated as high in temperamental negativity.

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