Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2004
Publication Date: August 1, 2004
Citation: Patrick, H., Nicklas, T., Hughes, S.O. 2004. The differential effects of authoritative and authoritarian feeding styles on eating behaviors [abstract]. Journal of The American Dietetic Association. 104(Suppl 2):A-61. Technical Abstract: Caregiver feeding styles (CFS) represent approaches to maintaining or modifying children's eating behaviors. Authoritarian feeding involves attempts to control children's eating with little regard for their choices and preferences. In contrast, authoritative feeding involves a balance whereby parents determine which foods are offered and children determine which foods are eaten. The current research tested the associations between CFS and children's eating behaviors among African-American (AA) and Hispanic (H) caregivers and their preschool children. Participants were 231 caregivers (101 AA; 130 H) with children enrolled in Head Start. Caregivers completed the CFS Questionnaire and questions pertaining to food availability, encouragement to eat (ETE), and child's intake. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses tested the unique contribution of each feeding style in predicting eating behaviors controlling for potential confounding variables such as child's gender and BMI, and caregiver's ethnicity and BMI. Authoritative feeding was positively associated with availability of fruit and vegetables and with ETE dairy, fruit, and vegetables. Additionally, authoritative feeding was positively associated with children's intake of dairy and vegetables. Authoritarian feeding was negatively associated with availability of vegetables, and children's consumption of vegetables. Overall, results provide evidence for the benefits of authoritative feeding and suggest that interventions to increase children's consumption of dairy, fruit, and vegetables should be targeted toward increasing caregivers' authoritative feeding behaviors.