Father-child and mother-child interaction families with a child feeding disorder: The role of paternal involvement

Naama Atzaba-Poria, Gal Meiri, Maaian Millikovsky, Anat Barkai, Maayan Dunaevsky-Idan, Baruch Yerushalmi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


To date, research about feeding disorder (FD) has focused almost exclusively on the mother-child dyad, ignoring fathers' roles. The current study investigated father-child interactions with children having FD. The sample consisted of 67 children (1-3 years old) and their mothers and fathers. Thirty-four children, diagnosed with a nonorganic-based FD (FD group) and 33 children without an FD (control group) were matched for age, gender, birth order, and maternal education. Data were collected during home visits. Mothers were interviewed about their and the father's involvement childcare. addition, mother-child and father-child interactions were videotaped during play and feeding. Both mothers and fathers from the FD group experienced less positive parent-child interactions than did parents the control group. Furthermore, mothers the FD group reported greater maternal versus paternal childcare involvement than did control group mothers. Finally, FD group mothers exhibited more parental sensitivity than did fathers during feeing interactions; however, this difference was observed only when coupled with low paternal involvement. families where fathers were highly involved, no difference was evident paternal and maternal sensitivity. These findings highlight the importance of fathers' involvement, especially families with children exhibiting an FD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)682-698
Number of pages17
JournalInfant Mental Health Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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