Association Between Maternal Stress, Work Status, Concern About Child Weight, and Restrictive Feeding Practices in Preschool Children

Katheryn Swyden, Susan B. Sisson, Amanda S. Morris, Karina Lora, Ashley E. Weedn, Kristen A. Copeland, Beth DeGrace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Abstract: Objectives To examine the relationship between maternal stress, work status, concern about child weight, and the use of restrictive feeding practices among mothers of preschool children. Methods 285 mothers of 2-to-5-year-old children completed an on-line survey. Questions included demographics, items from the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale, and the Child Feeding Questionnaire. Linear regression and ANOVA examined the relationship between maternal stress, work hours, concern about child weight, and the use of restrictive practices for one 2-to-5-year-old child living within the home. Results Mothers were 32.6 ± 5.2 years of age and spent 39.7 ± 12.0 h/week at work. Seventy-one percent worked full time. Children were 3.4 ± 1.0 years of age and 51% male. Stress (3.41 ± 0.77, p ≤ 0.001) and concern about child weight (3.41 ± 0.77, p ≤ 0.00) were associated with the use of restrictive feeding practices. Mothers with severe/extremely severe stress used restriction more than mothers with normal stress, respectively (3.63 ± 0.80, 3.30 ± 0.81, p = 0.03). No difference was found among mothers with mild/moderate stress (3.50 ± 0.63, p = 0.06). There was no association between work hours (p = 0.50) or work status (p = 0.91) and the use of restrictive feeding practices. Conclusions Maternal stress and concern about child weight were associated with the use of restrictive feeding practices. Considering the current rates of childhood obesity in the United States, understanding factors that influence a child’s food environment is advantageous and can help improve maternal and child health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1349-1357
Number of pages9
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Volume21
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2017

Keywords

  • Children
  • Employment
  • Feeding
  • Mothers
  • Psychosocial

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