Maternal mind-mindedness, or the tendency to view the child as a mental agent, has been shown to predict sensitive and responsive parenting behavior. As yet the role of mind-mindedness has not been explored in the context of feeding interactions. This study evaluates the relations between maternal mind-mindedness at 6 months of infant age and subsequently observed maternal sensitivity and feeding behaviors with children at age 1 year. Maternal mind-mindedness was greater in mothers who had breast-fed compared to formula-fed. Controlling for breast-feeding, mind-mindedness at 6 months was correlated with observations of more sensitive and positive feeding behaviors at 1 year of age. Mind-mindedness was also associated with greater general maternal sensitivity in play and this general parenting sensitivity mediated the effect of mind-mindedness on more sensitive and positive feeding behaviors. Interventions to promote maternal tendency to consider their child's mental states may encourage more adaptive parental feeding behaviors.
Bibliographical noteThis is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published inFarrow, C., & Blissett, J. (2014). Maternal mind-mindedness during infancy, general parenting sensitivity and observed child feeding behavior: a longitudinal study. Attachment and human development, 16(3), 230-241. Attachment and human development 2014 © Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14616734.2014.898158
- child feeding
- feeding behavior