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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(4), 437; doi:10.3390/ijerph13040437

Eating Behaviours of Preadolescent Children over Time: Stability, Continuity and the Moderating Role of Perceived Parental Feeding Practices

1
School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, Leicestershire LE11 3TU, UK
2
Department of Psychology, School of Life and Health Sciences, Aston University, Birmingham, West Midlands B4 7ET, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: María M. Morales Suárez-Varela
Received: 22 January 2016 / Revised: 10 April 2016 / Accepted: 14 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Children, Adolescents and Nutrition)
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Abstract

The links between childhood eating behaviours and parental feeding practices are well-established in younger children, but there is a lack of research examining these variables in a preadolescent age group, particularly from the child’s perspective, and longitudinally. This study firstly aimed to examine the continuity and stability of preadolescent perceptions of their parents’ controlling feeding practices (pressure to eat and restriction) over a 12 month period. The second aim was to explore if perceptions of parental feeding practices moderated the relationship between preadolescents’ eating behaviours longitudinally. Two hundred and twenty nine preadolescents (mean age at recruitment 8.73 years) completed questionnaires assessing their eating behaviours and their perceptions of parental feeding practices at two time points, 12 months apart (T1 and T2). Preadolescents’ perceptions of their parental feeding practices remained stable. Perceptions of restriction and pressure to eat were continuous. Perceptions of parental pressure to eat and restriction significantly moderated the relationships between eating behaviours at T1 and T2. The findings from this study suggest that in a preadolescent population, perceptions of parental pressure to eat and restriction of food may exacerbate the development of problematic eating behaviours. View Full-Text
Keywords: eating behaviours; preadolescent; parent; feeding practices; pressure; restriction; dietary restriction; emotional eating; external eating; stability; continuity eating behaviours; preadolescent; parent; feeding practices; pressure; restriction; dietary restriction; emotional eating; external eating; stability; continuity
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Houldcroft, L.; Farrow, C.; Haycraft, E. Eating Behaviours of Preadolescent Children over Time: Stability, Continuity and the Moderating Role of Perceived Parental Feeding Practices. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 437.

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