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Appetite. 2006 Jan;46(1):49-56. Epub 2005 Dec 13.

Breast-feeding, maternal feeding practices and mealtime negativity at one year.

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  • 1School of Psychology, Dorothy Hodgkin Building, Keele University, Keele, Staffordshire, ST5 5BG, UK.


This paper explores whether breast-feeding, mediated by lower maternal use of controlling strategies, predicts more positive mealtime interactions between mothers and their 1 year old infants. Eighty-seven women completed questionnaires regarding breast-feeding, assessing their control over child feeding and mealtime negativity at 1 year of infant age. Seventy-four of these women were also observed feeding their infants solid food at 1 year. Mediation analyses demonstrated that the experience of breast-feeding, mediated by lower reported maternal control over child feeding, predicted maternal reports of less negative mealtime interactions. The experience of breast-feeding also predicted observations of less conflict at mealtimes, mediated by observations of maternal sensitivity during feeding interactions. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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