Parent use of food to soothe infant/toddler distress and child weight status. An exploratory study

Cynthia A. Stifter, Stephanie Anzman-Frasca, Leann L. Birch, Kristin Voegtline

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to explore the parent feeding practice of using food to soothe infant/toddler distress and its relationship to child weight status. Seventy eight families with infants and toddlers (43 males) ranging in age from 3 to 34 months (M = 14 mos, SD = 9 mos) completed a survey which included questions on their use of food to soothe, questionnaires on parent feeding practices, parenting self-efficacy, child temperament and child's weight and length at the time of their last well-baby visit. Results revealed the use of food to soothe to be a valid construct. In addition, mothers who used food to soothe rated themselves lower in parenting self-efficacy and their children higher in temperamental negativity. Analyses examining weight status as the outcome variable revealed that mothers who reported the use of food to soothe had heavier children, however, this relationship was stronger for children rated as high in temperamental negativity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)693-699
Number of pages7
JournalAppetite
Volume57
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

Keywords

  • Child temperament
  • Child weight status
  • Infants
  • Parental feeding
  • Soothing
  • Toddlers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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