Concern Explaining Nonresponsive Feeding: A Study of Mothers’ and Fathers’ Response to Their Child's Fussy Eating

Holly A. Harris*, Elena Jansen, Kimberley M. Mallan, Lynne Daniels, Karen Thorpe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To examine the role of parent concern in explaining nonresponsive feeding practices in response to child fussy eating in socioeconomically disadvantaged families. Design: Mediation analysis of cross-sectional survey data. Setting: Socioeconomically disadvantaged urban community in Queensland, Australia. Participants: Cohabiting mother–father pairs (n = 208) with children aged 2–5 years. Main Outcome Measure(s): Two validated measures of nonresponsive feeding: persuasive feeding and reward for eating. Analysis: Mediation analysis tested concern as a mediator of the relationship between child food fussiness (independent variable) and parent nonresponsive feeding practices (dependent variables), adjusted for significant covariates and modeled separately for mothers and fathers. Results: Maternal concern fully mediated the relationship between child food fussiness and persuasive feeding (indirect effect: B [SE] = 0.10 [0.05]; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01–0.20). Concern also fully mediated the relationship between child food fussiness and reward for eating for mothers (indirect effect: B [SE] = 0.17 [0.07]; CI, 0.04–0.31) and fathers (indirect effect: B [SE] = 0.14 [0.05]; CI, 0.04–0.24) Conclusions and Implications: Concern for fussy eating behaviors may explain mothers’ and fathers’ nonresponsive feeding practices. In addition to providing education and behavioral support, health professionals working with socioeconomically disadvantaged families can incorporate strategies that aim to alleviate parents’ concerns about fussy eating.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-764
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume50
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation Child and Adolescent Health group. HAH was supported by a Research Training Program Scholarship provided by the Queensland University of Technology.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior

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