Submitted to: International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2006
Publication Date: 7/14/2006
Citation: Hughes, S.O., Nicklas, T.A., Franklin, F.A., Shewchuk, R.M., Feese, M.L. 2006. The role of parental emotions in the context of feeding [abstract]. Fifth Annual Conference of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, July 13-16, 2006, Boston, Massachusetts. p. 137. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Research regarding the effect of parental feeding on young children has focused on specific feeding practices. The systematic measurement of broader feeding styles has been neglected. Similar to general parenting styles, feeding styles can be described in terms of what parents do during parent-child eating interactions and how parents deliver those messages. Little empirical attention has been paid to parental emotional affect in the domain of feeding. Furthermore, emotional affect may have different meanings in different ethnic groups. Participants were 677 Hispanic, European-American, and African-American Head Start parents across two sites (Alabama and Houston, TX). Parents completed questionnaires on feeding styles and emotional affect. Height and weight were measured. Across all ethnic groups, parents categorized as authoritative and indulgent in their feeding styles were significantly higher in self-reported positive emotional affect compared to parents categorized as uninvolved. Across all ethnic groups, parents categorized as authoritarian in their feeding style were significantly higher in self-reported negative emotional affect compared to parents categorized as uninvolved. Although there were no significant relationships found between feeding styles and child BMI, parental positive emotional affect was associated with higher BMI in Hispanic children. These results suggest that parental emotional affect may be one way in which parental feeding styles influence child feeding outcomes. By better understanding how feeding styles are related to the child’s dietary intake, as a function of emotional affect, information can be disseminated to parents to help them deliver their feeding messages to children in more effective ways.