Concurrent and longitudinal associations among temperament, parental feeding styles, and selective eating in a preschool sample

Katherine M. Kidwell, Chelsea Kozikowski, Taylor Roth, Alyssa Lundahl, Timothy D. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To examine the associations among negative/reactive temperament, feeding styles, and selective eating in a sample of preschoolers because preschool eating behaviors likely have lasting implications for children's health. Methods A community sample of preschoolers aged 3-5 years (M=4.49 years, 49.5% female, 75.7% European American) in the Midwest of the United States was recruited to participate in the study (N=297). Parents completed measures of temperament and feeding styles at two time points 6 months apart. Results A series of regressions indicated that children who had temperaments high in negative affectivity were significantly more likely to experience instrumental and emotional feeding styles. They were also significantly more likely to be selective eaters. These associations were present when examined both concurrently and after 6 months. Conclusions This study provides a novel investigation of child temperament and eating behaviors, allowing for a better understanding of how negative affectivity is associated with instrumental feeding, emotional feeding, and selective eating. These results inform interventions to improve child health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)572-583
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Volume43
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Keywords

  • emotional feeding
  • instrumental feeding
  • picky eating
  • selective eating
  • temperament

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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