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Title: Mothers' feeding styles and their relationship to maternal mental health and child temperament
Author: Lindsay, Caroline
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 0557
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2011
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Background and Aims. A controlling feeding style has been related to obesity amongst young children. Influences on the feeding style of mothers are a novel area of research. Preliminary studies have found maternal emotional health and child temperament may be important factors. Thus, the current study intended to add to the knowledge in this area by investigating these factors and their relationship to maternal feeding style. A further aim was to investigate the reliability of mothers' reports of their feeding style by comparing them to observations. Method. This study used a correlational design with a non-clinical population of mothers and their young children (N= 71). All participants completed measures of maternal mental health, child feeding and child temperament. A subsample of participants (N = 19) were also videoed feeding their child at one mealtime. Results. Mothers scoring higher on a self-report measure of maternal mental health did report a more controlling feeding style. However the relationship between maternal mental health and negative perception of child temperament was only partially supported as was the relationship between negative perception of child temperament and feeding style. Finally no relationship was found between mothers' self-reported feeding style and their observed feeding style. Conclusions. As predicted, a relationship was found between maternal mental health and reported controlling feeding style, although the relationship between child temperament and feeding style warrants further exploration. A relationship was not found between mothers reported and observed feeding style however the small sample size must be acknowledged when interpreting this result. The findings of this study support the importance of recognising maternal mental health difficulties and the impact they may have on the mother- child feeding relationship. However, further research is needed, in particular with larger clinical populations to further explore influences on the mother-child feeding relationship.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available