Associations between parenting behaviours and feeding beliefs of first-time Australian mothers in the NOURISH obesity prevention trial

Jansen, Elena, Nicholson, Jan, Mihrshahi, Seema, Magarey, Anthea, & Daniels, Lynne (2011) Associations between parenting behaviours and feeding beliefs of first-time Australian mothers in the NOURISH obesity prevention trial. In 2011 Annual Meeting of the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 15-18 June 2011, Melbourne, Australia. (Unpublished)

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  • Parenting style and early feeding practices have been linked to child intake, eating behaviour and weight status. The purpose of this study was to examine associations between general maternal parenting behaviours and feeding beliefs in Australian mothers of 11-17 month-old children.


  • This cross-sectional analysis included 223 first-time mothers and their children (49% male, mean age 14 [sd 1] months) enrolled in the control group of the NOURISH trial. Mothers self-reported their feeding beliefs and parenting behaviours (overprotection, irritability, warmth, autonomy-encouraging) using modified questions from the Infant Feeding Questionnaire (Baughcum, 2001) and the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Multiple regression analyses were conducted, using feeding beliefs (four factors) as dependent and parenting behaviours as independent variables while adjusting for child gender, age, weight-for-age z-score and maternal age, education level, feeding mode (breast vs. non-breast), and perception of own pre-pregnancy and child weight status.


  • Two of four parenting behaviours were significantly associated with feeding beliefs.
    Maternal warmth was inversely associated with concerns that the child would become underweight (β=-0.156, p=0.022) and positively associated with mothers’ awareness of child’s hunger/satiety cues (β=0.303, p<0.001). Mothers’ overprotection was positively associated with concerns that the child would become underweight (β=0.213, p=0.001); become overweight (β=0.174, p=0.005); and mother’s responsive feeding (β=0.135, p=0.057). Weight-for-age z-score, mothers’ perception of their child and own weight status, education, feeding mode, and child’s age were significant covariates.


  • Feeding occurs within the broader parenting context. Improving early feeding beliefs and practices may require addressing mother’s approaches to parenting, especially warmth and overprotection.

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ID Code: 48549
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Feeding, Parenting, Australia, First-time mother
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Office of Education Research
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Exercise & Nutrition Sciences
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Please consult the authors.
Deposited On: 13 Feb 2012 06:08
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 22:21

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