Maternal Symptoms of Stress, Depression, and Anxiety Are Related to Nonresponsive Feeding Styles in a Statewide Sample of WIC Participants
By Hurley K, Black M, Papas M, Caulfield L
Parenting, including nonresponsive feeding styles, has been related to under- or overweight among young children. The relationship between maternal mental health and feeding styles has not been examined. We hypothesized that mothers who report more symptoms of stress, depression, or anxiety report less responsive (e.g. more controlling, indulgent, and uninvolved) feeding styles than mothers who report fewer symptoms of stress, depression, or anxiety. Our analyses included 702 mother-infant pairs from a statewide sample of Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children mothers. We assessed maternal mental health and feeding styles by a telephone survey. After adjusting for potential confounding variables, maternal stress symptomatology was significantly associated with forceful (beta = 0.03; 95% CI = 0.02, 0.05) and uninvolved (OR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.1, 1.7) feeding style scores, maternal depression symptomatology was significantly associated with forceful (beta = 0.03; 95% CI = 0.004, 0.05), indulgent (beta = 0.03; 95% CI = 0.004, 0.06), and uninvolved (OR = 1.5; 95% CI = 1.001, 2.2) feeding styles scores, and maternal anxiety symptomatology was significantly related to restrictive (beta = 0.11; 95% CI = 0.01, 0.21), forceful (beta = 0.04; 95% CI = 0.02, 0.06), and uninvolved (OR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.01, 1.9) feeding style scores. Among mothers who perceived their infant as temperamentally fussy, there was a significant positive relationship between restrictive feeding styles scores and 3 indices of maternal mental health (stress, beta = 0.18; 95% CI = 0.07, 0.28; depression, beta = 0.21; 95% CI = 0.04, 0.38; and cumulative mental health symptomatology, beta = 0.29; 95% CI = 0.10, 0.48). Mothers who report stress, depression, or anxiety symptoms are at risk for nonresponsive feeding styles. These findings provide support for broadening the focus of existing child nutrition programs to include strategies that recognize how issues of maternal mental health can affect feeding styles.
March 19, 2018
Hurley K, Black M, Papas M, Caulfield L (2008) Maternal Symptoms of Stress, Depression, and Anxiety Are Related to Nonresponsive Feeding Styles in a Statewide Sample of WIC Participants. The Journal Of Nutrition: Vol. 138, Issue 4, pp. 799-805. Available online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=Maternal+symptoms+of+stress+depression+and+anxiety+are+related+to+non responsive+feeding+styles+in+a+statewide+sample+of+WIC+participants