Evidence indicates that both the quality of the mother-child dyadic relationship and feeding interactions are implicated in excess child weight gain1,2,3. Therefore, increasing our understanding of these mother-child dyadic factors may help further clarify early developmental pathways to child eating behaviours and obesity risk.
Our aim is to propose a conceptual model, where mother-child relationships play a central role, outlining early mother-child dyadic pathways linking parent-child feeding interactions to child body mass index. The model presents individual and dyadic mother-child factors (i.e., attachment, child temperament and maternal mental health) that influence the nature and quality of parent-child feeding interactions from infancy to toddlerhood.
In-depth knowledge of how early parent-child feeding interaction patterns influence child self-regulation and eating behaviours may help guide multidisciplinary approaches toward preventing childhood obesity.
High quality quantitative and observational data of meaningful parent, child and dyadic interactions around food contexts, attachment security, maternal mental health, child temperament and self-regulation will help to inform new casual targets for preventative intervention.