Parent participation in interventions for their children's feeding problems may depend on parent attributions for the origins of these problems, but no measure is available to identify these parent perceptions. The purpose of the present paper was to develop a new Parent Attribution for Child Eating Scale (PACES), then to examine how parent perceptions measured by the PACES were associated with child variables and parent feeding practices. Participants included parents of 393 children from a hospital feeding clinic (68.2% boys; mean age = 55.4 months). Parents completed surveys to report children's demographic, medical, and feeding variables, three-point ratings for possible origins of these feeding problems, and their own use of nine child-feeding practices. Exploratory factor analysis of the parent ratings produced the 21-item PACES with four dimensions: Permissive Parenting, Medical Treatments, Oral Problems, and Vomiting Fear. The PACES showed acceptable goodness-of-fit, internal reliability, test-retest reliability, and support for its validity with expected correlations with child and parent variables. Multiple regression revealed that nine child variables (age, body mass index, gender, autism, gastrointestinal problems, neurological problems, oral motor problems, texture feeding problems, diet variety) explained 19-41% of the variance in the four PACES attributions, with oral motor problems significantly correlated with all of them (negatively with Permissive Parenting, positively with the other three), suggesting that its occurrence in combination with other child variables guides parent explanations for children's feeding problems. Multiple regression also found that Many Food Choices was the only parent feeding practice significantly correlated with all four PACES attributions (positively with Permissive Parenting, negatively with the other three), suggesting that it may be parents' primary response to attributions they develop for their children's feeding problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nutrition and Dietetics