Maternal clinical perfectionism and use of controlling child feeding practices

Johnston, Judith (2013) Maternal clinical perfectionism and use of controlling child feeding practices. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

Maternal use of controlling feeding practices (pressure, restriction and monitoring) is
understood to influence a child’s developing food preferences and relationship with
food. Several associations have been found between maternal psychopathology and
use of controlling feeding practices, yet the mechanisms that underpin these
relationships are unclear. The current study investigates the role of the
transdiagnostic process of perfectionism and maternal use of controlling feeding
practices. The study was in two parts. The first part of the study was a cross-sectional
questionnaire design. One hundred and two mothers of young children aged between
18 and 47 months completed self-report measures assessing maternal perfectionism,
mood and use of controlling feeding practices. For the second part of the study,
mothers who reported scores in the upper and lower quartiles on the perfectionism
measure were invited to participate in a recorded observation of a mealtime with
their child. A between groups design was used to compare those in the upper (n=8)
and lower (n=14) quartiles on their observed use of controlling feeding practices.
Self-reported pressure to eat was significantly related to both maternal self-reported
perfectionism and maternal self-reported depression. The relationship between
maternal self-reported perfectionism and use of pressure to eat was robust when
controlling for self-reported depression. Furthermore, self-reported depression was
not related to pressure to eat when controlling for self-reported perfectionism. In the
second part of the study, no significant differences were found between the two
groups on observed use of controlling feeding practices. However, mothers in the
upper quartile were observed to make more positive comments about food. The
findings tentatively support the hypothesis that clinical perfectionism may play an
important role in maternal use of controlling feeding practices.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 17:07
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 17:07
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/48095
DOI:

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