Three broad parental feeding styles and young children’s snack intake.

Samantha Boots, Marika Tiggemann, Nadia Corsini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The aim of this study was to identify broad overarching feeding styles that parents may use and their effects on pre-school-aged children's healthy and unhealthy snack intake. Design: Cross sectional study Methods: Mothers (n = 611) of children aged 2-7 years (mean age 3.9 years) completed an online survey assessing parent-feeding strategies and parent-reported child snack intake. Data were analysed in two phases. First, principal components analysis identified three major feeding styles that were labelled overt control, covert control and parent modelling. Then, structural equation modelling was used to see whether these factors were related differentially to reported child snack intake. Results: The intake of healthy snack food was associated with higher covert control and parent modelling and lower overt control. The reverse was true for unhealthy snack intake, with the intake of these foods associated with lower covert control and parental modelling, and higher overt control. Conclusion: Our findings show that parent-feeding styles that attempt to control the child's environment seem to have a positive impact on snack intake, while styles aimed at controlling the child (overt control) seem to have a detrimental impact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-621
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Education Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Australia
  • covert control
  • parent-feeding strategies
  • restriction
  • snack intake
  • young children


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