Children with food refusal: an assessment of parental eating attitudes and their styles of coping with stress

Children with food refusal: an assessment of parental eating attitudes and their styles of coping with stress.

Tan S, et al.

Chin Med Assoc. 2012 May;75(5):209-15.

Abstract
BACKGROUND: In this study, we aimed to assess the eating attitudes and stress coping styles of parents whose children presented to the clinic complaining of food refusal.

METHODS: The parents of 31 children aged ≥3 years, presented to the clinic with the complaint of food refusal. The control group consisted of 30 healthy children with no prior history of food refusal, and their parents. In both groups, birth features, body mass indexes (BMIs), eating attitudes and stress coping styles of the parents were assessed. The parents of both groups were studied, in part utilizing the eating attitudes test (EAT), and the coping styles of stress scale (CSSS).

RESULTS: Our study found that body weights and BMI values of the fathers in the study group were significantly lower than fathers in the control group. There was no significant difference in EAT scores between the two groups; however, where the children’s body weight and height for age percentile was under 25%, the parents had significantly lower EAT scores. When CSSS scores were assessed, the optimistic approach score of the mother and the self-confident score of the father were found to be significantly high in both groups.

CONCLUSION: The parental perception and definition of eating problems does not necessarily indicate the presence of an eating disorder in a child. In fact, the eating attitudes of the fathers were related to the low percentile weight and height values of the children, and a child’s food refusal was not dependent on the stress coping style used by the parent.

Source: Department of Psychiatry, Fatih University, Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.

supported by

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