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Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060692

Biological and Psychosocial Processes in the Development of Children’s Appetitive Traits: Insights from Developmental Theory and Research

1
Deakin University, Faculty of Health, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Centre for Advanced Sensory Science, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia
2
Flinders University, College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, Sturt Rd, Bedford Park, SA 5042, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Early Life Nutrition: From Nutrients to Systems)
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Abstract

There has been increasing concern expressed about children’s food intakes and dietary patterns. These are closely linked to children’s appetitive traits (such as disinhibited eating and food fussiness/neophobia). Research has examined both biological and psychosocial correlates or predictors of these traits. There has been less focus on possible processes or mechanisms associated with children’s development of these traits and research that links biological and psychosocial factors. There is an absence of research that links biological and psychosocial factors. In the present article, we outline a model intended to facilitate theory and research on the development of appetitive traits. It is based on scholarship from developmental theory and research and incorporates biological factors such as genetic predispositions and temperament as well as psychosocial factors in terms of parent cognitions, feeding styles and feeding practices. Particular attention is directed to aspects such as emotional eating and feeding, self-regulation of energy intake, and non-shared family environments. We highlight the opportunity for longitudinal research that examines bidirectional, transactional and cascade processes and uses a developmental framework. The model provides a basis for connecting the biological foundations of appetitive traits to system-level analysis in the family. Knowledge generated through the application of the model should lead to more effective prevention and intervention initiatives. View Full-Text
Keywords: psychosocial processes; bidirectional processes; transactional processes; child; parenting; temperament; biological factors; appetitive traits; food neophobia; pediatric obesity psychosocial processes; bidirectional processes; transactional processes; child; parenting; temperament; biological factors; appetitive traits; food neophobia; pediatric obesity
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Russell, C.G.; Russell, A. Biological and Psychosocial Processes in the Development of Children’s Appetitive Traits: Insights from Developmental Theory and Research. Nutrients 2018, 10, 692.

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