Maternal negative affectivity and child-feeding : results from the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort study
Appears in the following Collection
- Psykologisk institutt 
AbstractIn this thesis, I explore the influence of maternal Negative Affectivity on child diet and the mechanisms that mediate this influence. For this purposed I used data from a nation-wide birth cohort study of between 15 000 and 30 000 mother-child dyads.
The main findings of this study were that the children of mothers with a high level of Negative Affectivity to a lesser extent are breastfed during the first 6 months of their life, and have a diet of poorer nutritional value at the age of 18 months and 3 years. Moreover, it is suggested in this thesis a causal link between high levels of Negative Affectivity, external Parental Locus of Control (i.e. believing not to have control over the child), and control-oriented child-feeding practices of pressuring the child to eat and restricting the child’s food intake. Indeed, external Parental Locus of Control was the most important mechanism, entirely mediating the effect of Negative Affectivity on child feeding practices. What is more, external Parental Locus of Control partially explained the association between the two child-feeding practices. This implicates that believing not to have control over the child, can be viewed as a common etiological factor for control-oriented child feeding.
Child feeding practices showed different associations with child diet. Pressuring the child to eat was associated with a diet of poorer nutritional value. Restricting the child’s food intake, in contrast, was associated with a diet of preferable nutritional value.
These findings are important for the understanding of early child-feeding and risk factors for an obesogenic child diet, particularly because belief systems such as Parental Locus of Control are accessible for interventions. Moreover, awareness of these relationships may have clinical relevance for health personnel giving guidance on child-feeding.
LIST OF PAPERS
Paper I: Ystrom, E., Niegel, S., Klepp, K.-I., & Vollrath, M. E. (2008). The impact of maternal negative affectivity and general self-efficacy on breast-feeding: The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Journal of Pediatrics, 152, 68-72. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2007.06.005
Paper II: Ystrom, E., Niegel, S., Vollrath, M. E. The impact of maternal negative affectivity on dietary patterns of 18-month-old children in the Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. Maternal and Child Nutrition, 2009 Jul;5(3):234-42. doi:10.1111/j.1740-8709.2008.00177.x
Paper III: Ystrom, E., Barker, M., & Vollrath, M. E. The impact of mothers' negative affectivity, parental locus of control and child-feeding practices on dietary patterns of 3-year old children. The Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study. (submitted to Appetite).