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07-05-2020 | Uitgave 8/2020

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 8/2020

Prematurity and Maladaptive Mealtime Dynamics: the Roles of Maternal Emotional Distress, Eating-Related Cognitions, and Mind-Mindedness

Tijdschrift:
Research on Child and Adolescent Psychopathology > Uitgave 8/2020
Auteurs:
Tal Yatziv, Noa Gueron-Sela, Gal Meiri, Kyla Marks, Naama Atzaba-Poria
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Abstract

Premature birth and maternal emotional distress constitute risk factors for feeding disorders. This study examined the roles of maternal cognitions in the link between prematurity, emotional distress and mother-infant maladaptive mealtime dynamics in a sample of 134 families (70 preterm, low medical risk; 64 full-term) followed longitudinally. Specifically, maternal cognitions related to eating and health (perception of child vulnerability and concerns about child’s eating) and understanding of mental states (interactional mind-mindedness) were considered. A multiple-mediators model was tested, controlling for infants’ weight and breastfeeding history. Although prematurity did not directly predict mealtime dynamics, multiple-mediation analyses revealed indirect pathways: mothers of preterm newborns reported higher emotional distress, which subsequently predicted perception of child vulnerability and concerns about child’s eating at 6-months; perception of child vulnerability predicted more conflictual mealtime dynamics, whereas concern about child’s eating predicted less reciprocal mealtime dynamics at 12-months. Mind-mindedness at 6-months predicted more reciprocal and less conflictual mealtime dynamics but did not act as a mediator. Implications for understanding pathways from prematurity to feeding disorders are discussed.

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