Are parenting style and controlling feeding practices related?

2013-01-02T12:46:49Z (GMT) by Jacqueline Blissett Emma Haycraft
This study examined the relationships between parenting styles, feeding practices and BMI in a non-clinical sample of mothers and fathers of UK preschool children. Ninety-six cohabiting parents of 48 children (19 male, 29 female, mean age 42 months) completed a series of self-report questionnaires assessing parenting style, feeding practices, eating psychopathology and a range of demographic information. There were no relationships between authoritarian parenting and controlling feeding practices. In both mothers and fathers, permissive parenting style was related to lower monitoring of children's unhealthy food intake. Permissive parenting was also associated with increased use of restriction by mothers and pressure to eat by fathers. Authoritative parenting style was also related to lower use of pressure to eat by fathers only. Parenting styles were not related to child BMI in this sample. Higher child BMI was best predicted by lower paternal application of pressure to eat and greater paternal reports of drive for thinness. Parenting style may not have a direct impact on child BMI until child food selection and consumption becomes more autonomous.