Parental eating disorder symptoms and observations of mealtime interactions with children

2012-12-21T11:34:43Z (GMT) by Jacqueline Blissett Emma Haycraft
Objective To examine relationships between parental eating disorder symptomatology and observed feeding interactions with children. Method Twenty-three mother–father pairs of children between 18 months and 5 years completed a self-report measure of eating disorders and were observed during a family mealtime. Results Parental reports of eating disorder symptoms were related to observations of greater pressurizing by both parents, maternal restriction of children's food intake and use of incentives to eat, more mouthfuls of food eaten by the child, and less food refusal. Discussion Observed controlling feeding practices are related to symptoms of eating disorders in nonclinical groups of mothers and fathers, highlighting one mechanism by which eating distress may be transmitted within families.