Objective: Parents' emotion regulation difficulties are related to binge eating (BE), and to responses to children's negative emotion. However, less is known about how responses to children's negative emotion are related to eating and feeding in the parenting context. We examined the degree to which BE had both direct and indirect effects on parental restrictive feeding practices, through parents' reported responses to negative emotion. Method: Parents of preschoolers (n = 441) completed validated questionnaires about their feeding strategies, responses to children's negative emotion, and their children's eating behaviors. Height and weight were measured in children and self-reported by parents. Unsupportive (Distress, Minimizing, and Punitive), and Supportive (Emotion-focused, Problem-focused, and Expressive Encouragement) responses to negative emotion were measured using the Coping with Children's Negative Emotions Scale. Results: Parent's BE was correlated with Distress responses, Restriction for health, and Restriction for weight control. Controlling for confounders, BE was associated with Restriction for weight control, and Restriction for health. Model testing revealed that BE had significant direct (R2 [SE] =.073 [.031], 95% CI [.013,.134]) and indirect effects (R2 [SE] =.011 [.005], 95% CI [.003,.023]) on Restriction for weight control, through Distress responses, but only indirect effects on Restriction for health (R2 [SE] =.018 [.009], 95% CI [.004,.039]). Conclusions: This study shows an association between emotion regulation and energy-intake regulation in the parenting context. Efforts to modify feeding practices may be more effective if parents' eating behaviors and their emotional responsiveness to distress are taken into account.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-154
Number of pages5
JournalEating Behaviors
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Binge eating
  • Emotion
  • Emotion regulation
  • Energy regulation
  • Feeding behavior
  • Parental feeding practices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Parent binge eating and restrictive feeding practices: Indirect effects of parent's responses to child's negative emotion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this