Maternal mental health and child feeding problems in a non-clinical group

J. Blissett, C. Meyer, E. Haycraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To compare the contribution of symptoms of anxiety, depression and eating psychopathology to reports of child feeding difficulties in a non-clinical group of mothers of male and female children. Method: A community sample of 56 mothers of male children and 40 mothers of female children with a mean age of 32 months completed measures of anxiety, depression, eating psychopathology and child feeding problems. Results: In mothers of male children, symptoms of depression and anxiety, but not eating psychopathology, were predictors of difficult feeding interactions. In contrast, in mothers of female children, symptoms of bulimia and depression, but not anxiety, were significant predictors of reported food refusal. Discussion: Different aspects of psychopathological symptomology may be risk factors for reports of feeding problems dependent on the child's gender. Further work should continue to assess the nature and motivation for the controlling of feeding behaviors exhibited by mothers of children of different genders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-318
Number of pages8
JournalEating Behaviors
Issue number3
Early online date5 Dec 2006
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Bulimia
  • Depression
  • Feeding
  • Maternal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


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