Pediatric Update: Maternal feeding practices and children’s eating difficulties.

Appetite. 2012 Apr;58(2):629-37.

Links between maternal feeding practices and children’s eating difficulties. Validation of French tools.

Rigal N, Chabanet C, Issanchou S, Monnery-Patris S.


The main objectives of the present study were to validate measures of young children’s eating difficulties and maternal feeding practices in a French sample, as well as to assess the links between these practices and children’s eating difficulties. Mothers (n=502) of French children aged 20-36 months completed four questionnaires that were validated using a Structural Equation Modelling approach. Links between children and maternal components were investigated using a PLS regression. The Children’s Eating Difficulties Questionnaire yielded a 4-dimension solution: Neophobia, Pickiness, Low Appetite and Low Enjoyment in food. The Feeding Style Questionnaire assessed three dimensions: Authoritarian, Authoritative and Permissive Styles. The Feeding Strategy Questionnaire, designed to evaluate strategies used by mothers to make their child taste rejected foods, resulted in four factors: Coercion, Explanation, Contingency and Preference. The Questionnaire relating to Parental Motivations when buying food for children presented a 6-dimension solution: Convenience, Weight-control, Natural, Health-concern, Preference and Price. The factors associated positively with the four dimensions of the Children’s Eating Difficulties Questionnaire were on the one hand Permissive Style and Practices to fulfil child’s desires, and on the other hand Authoritarian Style, Contingent and Coercive Practices aimed at forcing children to taste rejected foods.

Source : Paris-Ouest University, F-92000 Nanterre, France.

Pediatric Articles Dr Widodo Judarwanto (pediatrician)

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