Prospective studies and intervention evaluations that examine change over time assume that measurement tools measure the same construct at each occasion. In the area of parent-child feeding practices, longitudinal measurement properties of the questionnaires used are rarely verified. To ascertain that measured change in feeding practices reflects true change rather than change in the assessment, structure, or conceptualisation of the constructs over time, this study examined longitudinal measurement invariance of the Feeding Practices and Structure Questionnaire (FPSQ) subscales (9 constructs; 40 items) across 3 time points. Mothers participating in the NOURISH trial reported their feeding practices when children were aged 2, 3.7, and 5 years (N = 404). Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) within a structural equation modelling framework was used. Comparisons of initial cross-sectional models followed by longitudinal modelling of subscales, resulted in the removal of 12 items, including two redundant or poorly performing subscales. The resulting 28-item FPSQ-28 comprised 7 multi-item subscales: Reward for Behaviour, Reward for Eating, Persuasive Feeding, Overt Restriction, Covert Restriction, Structured Meal Setting and Structured Meal Timing. All subscales showed good fit over 3 time points and each displayed at least partial scalar (thresholds equal) longitudinal measurement invariance. We recommend the use of a separate single item indicator to assess the family meal setting. This is the first study to examine longitudinal measurement invariance in a feeding practices questionnaire. Invariance was established, indicating that the subscales of the shortened FPSQ-28 can be used with mothers to validly assess change in 7 feeding constructs in samples of children aged 2-5 years of age.
- Confirmatory factor analysis
- Longitudinal measurement invariance
- Non-responsive feeding