Predictors of maternal control of feeding at 1 and 2 years of age

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To establish the best predictors of maternal use of controlling feeding practices at 1 and 2 years of age.
Design: A longitudinal study from birth to 2 years.
Participants: Sixty-two mothers of 2-year-old children. Measures: Infant weight at birth, 6, 12 and 24 months, breastfeeding history, infant temperament and feeding difficulties at 6 and 12 months, maternal demographics at 12 and 24 months, maternal mental health at 6 and 12 months, maternal controlling feeding practices at 12 and 24 months.
Results: Controlling feeding practices at 1 year were predicted by perceptions of infant temperament at 6 months, birth weight, length of breastfeeding, mental health at 6 months, and mealtime negativity at 6 months. Parental control over feeding when their child reached 2 years was predicted by the mother's tendency to use that particular strategy at 1 year in combination with the perceptions of infant temperament and feeding problems at 1 year, weight at 1 year, length of breastfeeding in infancy, and/or maternal mental health at 1 year.
Conclusions: Breastfeeding appears to promote subsequent monitoring, and is associated with reduced use of pressurising and restrictive feeding practices. Infant characteristics are important predictors of control at both 1 and 2 years of age. The use of controlling feeding practices is relatively stable from 1 to 2 years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1520-1526
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Obesity
Issue number10
Early online date19 Jun 2007
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2007


  • control
  • restriction
  • pressure to eat
  • feeding
  • mother
  • infant


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