Journal of Basic and Clinical Health Sciences 2018 , Vol 2 , Issue 1
"My Child Doesn"t Eat!"; Parental Feeding Strategies, Parental Attitudes and Family Functioning of Children with Poor Appetite
Canem Kavurma1,Erhan Bayram3,Aylin Özbek2,Semra Ayşe Hız3
1Manisa Mental Health Hospital, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Manisa, Turkey
2Dokuz Eylül Universty School of Medicine, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, İzmir, Turkey
3Dokuz Eylül Universty School of Medicine, Pediatrics, İzmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.30621/jbachs.2018.275 Purpose: Children"s low interest in food and "lack of appetite" are of serious concern for parents and in consequently for the professionals. This study aimed to examine parental feeding strategies, effects of meal time environment, describe family functioning, and clarify general parental attitudes of the children with poor appetite from a developing country without any physical health problem that might affect growth, cause pain or discomfort during feeding.

Methods: Fifty-two mothers and their children were interviewed for data collection on sociodemographic characteristics, meal time structure, parental feeding strategies used by mothers, and child eating response to these strategies. Mothers completed Family Assessment Device (FAD) and Parental Attitude Research Instrument (PARI) for the evaluation of general parental attitudes, and family functioning.

Results: Parents most oftenly tended to use praise, offers of food rewards, threats to withhold food/play rewards. In response to parental control strategies, parents reported that 44.2% (n=22) of children ate a few more bites, and 9.6% (n=5) ate no more than they otherwise might have. PARI-I (over-parenting; implying an over controlling, anxious and over-demanding parental attitude) is the most frequent parental attitude in families of child with low interest in food. FAD 5, implying affective involvement in the family, and FAD 7, implying behavioral control in the family are the prominent family functioning dimensions of children whose mothers are concerned about their low interest in food.

Conclusion: The results of the study are in accordance with data from developed countries implying little cultural differences. Keywords : Poor appetite, parental attitudes, parental feeding strategies, parental attitudes, family functioning