Ammaniti M, Lucarelli L, Cimino S, D’Olimpio F, Chatoor I
Feeding disorders of infancy: A longitudinal study to middle childhood.
Int J Eat Disord 2011 Apr 14.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate over time feeding behavior and emotional-behavioral functioning in a sample of children diagnosed with Infantile Anorexia (IA) and a group of typically developing children; and to investigate the relationship between maternal psychological functioning and the children’s feeding patterns and emotional-behavioral functioning.
METHOD: Seventy-two children diagnosed with IA and 70 children in the control group were prospectively evaluated through several measures at two, five, and eight years of age.
RESULTS: Our findings revealed partial improvement in the nutritional status of the children with IA. However, they continued to show ongoing eating problems and, in addition, anxiety/depression and withdrawal, as well as rule-breaking behaviors and social problems. There were significant correlations between the children’s eating problems and their emotional difficulties and their mothers’ increased emotional distress and disturbed eating attitudes.
DISCUSSION: Our longitudinal study points out that the natural course of untreated IA is characterized by the persistence of difficulties in eating behavior and emotional-behavioral adjustment in both, the children and their mothers.
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