Observing the mother-infant feeding interaction

Morawska, Alina, Laws, Rachel, Moretto, Nicole, & Daniels, Lynne (2014) Observing the mother-infant feeding interaction. Early Child Development and Care, 184(4), pp. 522-536.

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Early parenting is critical to effective attachment and a range of positive developmental outcomes for children. Feeding is a key task of early parenting and increasing evidence indicates that early feeding practices are important for the development of self-regulation of intake and food preferences which in turn are predictors of later obesity risk. However, relatively little is known about the mother-infant interaction at the transition to solids among typically developing children. This study aimed to describe parenting strategies used by mothers at the transition from milk feeding to solid food. Twenty mother-infant dyads were video-taped during a feeding interaction and data was analysed to describe maternal use of parenting strategies. It was predicted that positive feeding strategies would be correlated with lower levels of Infant Food Refusal (IFR), higher maternal sensitivity, and better overall parenting scores. The opposite was predicted for negative feeding strategies. It was found that positive strategy use and general parenting scores were significantly correlated in the predicted direction, however maternal instruction, aversive contact and ineffective strategy use were significantly correlated with and predictive of IFR. Additionally, it was hypothesised that maternal strategy use would deteriorate towards the end of the interaction, and this hypothesis was partially supported: significantly more negative strategy use was observed in the last third of the interaction, whilst positive strategy use remained consistent through the feeding interaction. The findings have important implications for early feeding parent education and intervention programs.

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ID Code: 77891
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published online 24 Jun 2013. The embargo on the accepted manuscript version will expire on December 2014.
Keywords: parenting, transitional period, early feeding, infancy, parenting strategies
DOI: 10.1080/03004430.2013.800051
ISSN: 1476-8275
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NUTRITION AND DIETETICS (111100) > Nutrition and Dietetics not elsewhere classified (111199)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Developmental Psychology and Ageing (170102)
Divisions: 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 2014 Taylor & Francis Group
Deposited On: 21 Oct 2014 01:38
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2015 13:35

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