Longitudinal associations between early child weight gain, parent feeding, child self-regulation, and later child body mass index

Marisol Perez, Laura K. Winstone, Sarah G. Curci, Juan C. Hernández, Jennifer A. Somers, Linda J. Luecken

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Few longitudinal studies have examined associations of child weight trajectories, maternal demandingness and responsiveness during feeding, and child self-regulation. Objective: We examined if child weight-for-length trajectories from 6 weeks to 2 years of age were associated with maternal demandingness and responsiveness at child age 3 years old, and if maternal feeding dimensions predicted child BMI trajectories from 4.5 to 7.5 years among Mexican American children from low-income families. Child self-regulation was evaluated as a potential mechanism linking maternal feeding with child BMI. Method: Child (N = 322) weight and length/height were assessed at 10 timepoints from 6 weeks through 7.5 years. Mothers completed the Caregiver Feeding Style Questionnaire when the child was 3 years of age. Results: A steeper slope of weight-for-length z scores from 6 weeks to 2 years (indicating more rapid weight gain) was associated with less maternal demands during feeding at 3 years. More maternal demandingness at child age 3 years predicted lower child BMI at 4.5 years, but not trajectories from 4.5 to 7 years. Child self-regulation was not associated with child BMI from 4.5 to 7.5 years. Conclusion: The findings highlight how the relationship between mothers and children during feeding can be bidirectional and potentially influenced by the developmental stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12864
JournalPediatric Obesity
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • Hispanic
  • childhood obesity
  • parent feeding
  • self-regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Health Policy
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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