Associations between father availability, mealtime distractions and routines, and maternal feeding responsiveness: An observational study

Jaclyn A. Saltzman, Salma Musaad, Kelly K Freeman Bost, Brent A McBride, Barbara Fiese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Responsive feeding and frequency of family mealtimes are related to healthier eating behaviors and weight outcomes in children and adolescents. Distractions at mealtimes are related to greater intake of unhealthy food and a less positive mealtime emotional climate. However, there is little understanding of the effects of routines and father availability on distractions at family meals, and there is limited research investigating the effects of distractions among all family members on maternal feeding practices in toddlerhood. This study aims to characterize distractions at family mealtimes and examine associations between father availability, distractions, and observed responsive feeding. Descriptive analyses, nonlinear mixed models, and path analyses were conducted using observational (home-based family mealtimes) and self-report data collected from a subsample of families (n = 109) of 18- to 24-month-old children in the larger STRONG Kids 2 Study (N = 468). Between fathers, mothers, and children, families spent almost half of the mealtime distracted. Fathers and mothers engaged in about equal amounts of distractions, and children engaged in more technology-related distractions than parents. Fathers' absence at the mealtime was associated with more child distractions and less maternal feeding responsiveness. Lower paternal total distractions, maternal non-technology-object-related distractions, and higher household income were significantly associated with more observed maternal feeding responsiveness. Future research should investigate how father availability and family mealtime distractions may be associated directly and indirectly with children's eating behaviors and weight outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)465-475
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Volume33
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Fingerprint

Fathers
Observational Studies
Meals
Mothers
Feeding Behavior
Weights and Measures
Nonlinear Dynamics
Child Behavior
Self Report
Eating
Parents
Technology
Research

Keywords

  • Distractions
  • Family systems
  • Mealtime
  • Observational study
  • Responsiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

@article{f5cf3ff3f1914de090ce5563e2487809,
title = "Associations between father availability, mealtime distractions and routines, and maternal feeding responsiveness: An observational study",
abstract = "Responsive feeding and frequency of family mealtimes are related to healthier eating behaviors and weight outcomes in children and adolescents. Distractions at mealtimes are related to greater intake of unhealthy food and a less positive mealtime emotional climate. However, there is little understanding of the effects of routines and father availability on distractions at family meals, and there is limited research investigating the effects of distractions among all family members on maternal feeding practices in toddlerhood. This study aims to characterize distractions at family mealtimes and examine associations between father availability, distractions, and observed responsive feeding. Descriptive analyses, nonlinear mixed models, and path analyses were conducted using observational (home-based family mealtimes) and self-report data collected from a subsample of families (n = 109) of 18- to 24-month-old children in the larger STRONG Kids 2 Study (N = 468). Between fathers, mothers, and children, families spent almost half of the mealtime distracted. Fathers and mothers engaged in about equal amounts of distractions, and children engaged in more technology-related distractions than parents. Fathers' absence at the mealtime was associated with more child distractions and less maternal feeding responsiveness. Lower paternal total distractions, maternal non-technology-object-related distractions, and higher household income were significantly associated with more observed maternal feeding responsiveness. Future research should investigate how father availability and family mealtime distractions may be associated directly and indirectly with children's eating behaviors and weight outcomes.",
keywords = "Distractions, Family systems, Mealtime, Observational study, Responsiveness",
author = "Saltzman, {Jaclyn A.} and Salma Musaad and {Freeman Bost}, {Kelly K} and McBride, {Brent A} and Barbara Fiese",
year = "2019",
month = "6",
doi = "10.1037/fam0000519",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "33",
pages = "465--475",
journal = "Journal of Family Psychology",
issn = "0893-3200",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Associations between father availability, mealtime distractions and routines, and maternal feeding responsiveness

T2 - An observational study

AU - Saltzman, Jaclyn A.

AU - Musaad, Salma

AU - Freeman Bost, Kelly K

AU - McBride, Brent A

AU - Fiese, Barbara

PY - 2019/6

Y1 - 2019/6

N2 - Responsive feeding and frequency of family mealtimes are related to healthier eating behaviors and weight outcomes in children and adolescents. Distractions at mealtimes are related to greater intake of unhealthy food and a less positive mealtime emotional climate. However, there is little understanding of the effects of routines and father availability on distractions at family meals, and there is limited research investigating the effects of distractions among all family members on maternal feeding practices in toddlerhood. This study aims to characterize distractions at family mealtimes and examine associations between father availability, distractions, and observed responsive feeding. Descriptive analyses, nonlinear mixed models, and path analyses were conducted using observational (home-based family mealtimes) and self-report data collected from a subsample of families (n = 109) of 18- to 24-month-old children in the larger STRONG Kids 2 Study (N = 468). Between fathers, mothers, and children, families spent almost half of the mealtime distracted. Fathers and mothers engaged in about equal amounts of distractions, and children engaged in more technology-related distractions than parents. Fathers' absence at the mealtime was associated with more child distractions and less maternal feeding responsiveness. Lower paternal total distractions, maternal non-technology-object-related distractions, and higher household income were significantly associated with more observed maternal feeding responsiveness. Future research should investigate how father availability and family mealtime distractions may be associated directly and indirectly with children's eating behaviors and weight outcomes.

AB - Responsive feeding and frequency of family mealtimes are related to healthier eating behaviors and weight outcomes in children and adolescents. Distractions at mealtimes are related to greater intake of unhealthy food and a less positive mealtime emotional climate. However, there is little understanding of the effects of routines and father availability on distractions at family meals, and there is limited research investigating the effects of distractions among all family members on maternal feeding practices in toddlerhood. This study aims to characterize distractions at family mealtimes and examine associations between father availability, distractions, and observed responsive feeding. Descriptive analyses, nonlinear mixed models, and path analyses were conducted using observational (home-based family mealtimes) and self-report data collected from a subsample of families (n = 109) of 18- to 24-month-old children in the larger STRONG Kids 2 Study (N = 468). Between fathers, mothers, and children, families spent almost half of the mealtime distracted. Fathers and mothers engaged in about equal amounts of distractions, and children engaged in more technology-related distractions than parents. Fathers' absence at the mealtime was associated with more child distractions and less maternal feeding responsiveness. Lower paternal total distractions, maternal non-technology-object-related distractions, and higher household income were significantly associated with more observed maternal feeding responsiveness. Future research should investigate how father availability and family mealtime distractions may be associated directly and indirectly with children's eating behaviors and weight outcomes.

KW - Distractions

KW - Family systems

KW - Mealtime

KW - Observational study

KW - Responsiveness

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85062264753&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85062264753&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/fam0000519

DO - 10.1037/fam0000519

M3 - Article

C2 - 30816780

AN - SCOPUS:85062264753

VL - 33

SP - 465

EP - 475

JO - Journal of Family Psychology

JF - Journal of Family Psychology

SN - 0893-3200

IS - 4

ER -