Observation of feeding in the diagnosis of posttraumatic feeding disorder of infancy

I. Chatoor, J. Ganiban, J. Harrison, R. Hirsch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To delineate diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic feeding disorder (PTFD) of infancy and to differentiate PTFD from infantile anorexia (IA) via observation of feeding interactions. Method: Three groups of infants (aged 6-32 months) participated: PTFD (n = 30), IA (n = 30), and healthy eater controls (n = 30). The three groups were matched with regard to age, gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Child psychiatrists used infants' medical and feeding histories and observed 20-minute mother-infant feeding interactions to determine diagnoses and group placement. Feeding interactions were also videotaped, and two raters assessed infants' resistance to feeding situations and to swallowing, as well as specific qualities of mother-infant feeding interactions. Results: Overall, the clinical groups (PTFD and IA) demonstrated more problematic feeding interactions than did the control group. However, the PTFD group exhibited more resistance during feeding interactions than did the other two groups. In particular, the PTFD group displayed the most resistance to swallowing food. Conclusions: Infants' medical and feeding histories, as well as observations of feeding, are important to making the diagnosis of PTFD and differentiating it from other feeding disorders. Implications for treatment of PTFD are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-602
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Feeding interactions
  • Feeding resistance
  • Infantile anorexia
  • Posttraumatic feeding disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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