Background: Few longitudinal studies have examined associations of child weight trajectories, maternal demandingness and responsiveness during feeding, and child self-regulation. Objective: We examined if child weight-for-length trajectories from 6 weeks to 2 years of age were associated with maternal demandingness and responsiveness at child age 3 years old, and if maternal feeding dimensions predicted child BMI trajectories from 4.5 to 7.5 years among Mexican American children from low-income families. Child self-regulation was evaluated as a potential mechanism linking maternal feeding with child BMI. Method: Child (N = 322) weight and length/height were assessed at 10 timepoints from 6 weeks through 7.5 years. Mothers completed the Caregiver Feeding Style Questionnaire when the child was 3 years of age. Results: A steeper slope of weight-for-length z scores from 6 weeks to 2 years (indicating more rapid weight gain) was associated with less maternal demands during feeding at 3 years. More maternal demandingness at child age 3 years predicted lower child BMI at 4.5 years, but not trajectories from 4.5 to 7 years. Child self-regulation was not associated with child BMI from 4.5 to 7.5 years. Conclusion: The findings highlight how the relationship between mothers and children during feeding can be bidirectional and potentially influenced by the developmental stage.
- childhood obesity
- parent feeding
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Health Policy
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health