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Title: Parental modelling of eating behaviours
Author: Palfreyman, Zoe
Awarding Body: Loughborough University
Current Institution: Loughborough University
Date of Award: 2013
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At present, the process of parental modelling of eating behaviours and attitudes has received limited research interest. While often mentioned as a possible factor in relation to child feeding and the development of eating behaviours, only a few studies have explicitly researched parental modelling. The main aims of this thesis were to develop a new measure to assess modelling multidimensionally and to explore the relationships between parental modelling of eating behaviours with a variety of parent and child factors. Initially, a parental self-report measure (the Parental Modelling of Eating Behaviours Scale; PARM) was developed, validated and piloted as part of a series of studies exploring the associations between modelling and a range of self-reported parental and child factors. To provide further validation for the PARM, an observational coding scheme was developed, based on the newly developed modelling measure, and this was utilised in two further studies which looked at self-reported and observed parent and child factors. The key findings from this thesis suggest a number of beneficial relationships. For example, maternal modelling was positively correlated with healthy food intake in both mothers and their children. In addition, both maternal and paternal modelling were associated with children s increased enjoyment of food and lower levels of food fussiness. Observations of maternal modelling were also found to be positively related to other observed adaptive, non-directive feeding practices, such as encouragement to eat. However, less positive relationships were also identified, with modelling being related to parents mental health symptoms and to unhealthy food intake in both mothers and their children. In conclusion, this thesis has identified three distinct facets of modelling and highlighted factors which might be linked to parental role modelling around eating behaviours. While much of the research within this thesis is exploratory, and the findings require replication, they would suggest that parental modelling has the potential to positively influence children s eating behaviours. However, parents should also be made aware of the potential detrimental effect that modelling less adaptive eating behaviours may have on their children s food intake, particularly those eating behaviours that parents may be unaware of modelling.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Eating Behaviours ; Food Preferences ; Modelling ; Child ; Parental feeding Practices ; Fruit and vegetable intake