Mexican American mothers' eating and child feeding behaviors

Trina Aguirre, Diane Brage Hudson, Kim Weber, Bunny Pozehl, Linda Boeckner, Susan Wilhelm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study of Mexican-American mothers of 26 year old children was to explore the relationships among maternal attitude, perceived behavioral controls, mother's intent, mother's regulation of her own Simple Carbohydrate Intake (SCI), and mother's child feeding behaviors. The overall objective was to increase understanding of the complex process of intention to eat healthy. Methods: A prospective exploratory design using a convenience sample of a cohort of 82 Mexican-American mothers was used in this study. Structured questionnaires were selected to measure cognitive restraint, disinhibition, hunger, intent to regulate SCI, and mothers' monitoring, restricting, and pressuring of children's diets. Descriptive statistics and correlations were analyzed for each relationship. Results: The relationships between disinhibition, hunger, cognitive restraint, and the intent variable were significant. More than half of these mothers reported limiting soda and candy for themselves. According to the Food Frequency Questionnaire, mothers were regulating only one-third of simple carbohydrate items they intended to regulate. Significant relationships were found between mothers' regulation of her specific SCI and her control of child feeding behaviors including pressuring, monitoring, and restricting. Conclusion: The findings support the idea that mother's eating behaviors, attitudes, and intent may affect how they feed their pre-school children. Nurses need to develop and test interventions targeted at educating Mexican-American mothers about healthy food choices and healthy child feeding behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4-23
Number of pages20
JournalComprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2012


  • Hispanic
  • mother-child feeding behaviors
  • simple carbohydrate intake regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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