A new study explores how parents feed their children and how they interact with their children’s emotional diet, and how parental gender affects that relationship.
Most people are accustomed to using food as a way to overcome the challenges.Known as Emotional Eating, it can be a perfectly appropriate strategy for managing difficult emotions, but it can also be a problematic way for others. handle..
The goal of the new study was to better understand how a child’s emotional diet develops and inform interventions aimed at preventing such behavior from becoming unhealthy.
The study surveyed parents in Oregon and asked how often they and their children eat emotionally. Next, researchers investigated what role the three different eating habits that parents normally use for their children could play.
They include restricted food intake or restricted diets for children. Using food to help change a child’s emotions, known as emotional regulation. The use of food to punish or reward a child’s behavior, called instrumental feeding.
“We were really interested in comparing the different ways parents do. Feed the children And whether those eating habits explained some of the links between parents and children’s emotional diets, “said the lead author of the study, a graduate student at the University of Oregon School of Education. Shaina Trevino says.
“The link between the emotional diet of parents and children has been shown in the literature for quite some time, so we were generally really looking at how to do it. parents Feeding the child and how it affects the emotional dietary relationship between the parent and the child, “adds Trebino.
And while that link was previously established, this study is the first to look at the possible roles that each eating habit can play in an emotional diet and the role of parental gender.
“Many literatures are only about mothers, as there were samples of both mothers and fathers, which is rare in this type of literature. We dig a little deeper into it to see what gender is. I wanted to, and it also affects those relationships, “says Trevino.
Overall, they found that a restricted diet was the only eating habit that linked the emotional diet of parents and children.
“We actually found that restrictions explain the emotional dietary relationship between parents and children beyond other factors,” says Trebino. “That was unexpected.”
And when it comes to mothers, limiting their child’s food intake and their own emotional diet were important factors influencing their child’s emotional dietary habits.
“For mothers, it’s probably an emotional diet modeled after their children, or maybe they’re around them, and they’re watching it more often,” says Trebino.
However, for fathers, all three dietary habits have been found to play a role in the emotional diet of their children.
“It means eating for behavioral reasons, eating for emotional regulation, and restriction, all of which explained the emotional dietary relationship,” says Trebino. “There was no longer a link between the father’s emotional diet and the child’s emotional diet that was not explained by the way the father feeds the child.”
This study, which examined 324 mothers and 86 fathers, investigated the problem earlier due to the lack of father participation.
“The main point of this study is that emotional eating and eating habits work differently in both mothers and fathers, which should really influence research in this area,” Trebino said. Says.
Another discovery that jumps out in Trebino and needs further investigation is its father Feeding practices Although seemingly more important in the relationship between a child’s emotional diet and a parent’s emotional diet than a mother, mothers have been a major part of the spotlight in this area.
“I think this sheds first light on the fact that fathers are also important. Perhaps more can be seen in this context of parent-child emotional diet and feeding practices,” Trebino said. say.
“These data need attention,” says Nicole Giuliani, a faculty member of the Health Promotion Initiative. “It’s hard to tell why these differences are so whether it’s related to the sample itself, or how dietary and feeding habits affect the dietary behavior of mothers and fathers’ children. Is it related to something bigger than that? “
And not all emotional diets are bad, says Nicole Kelly, a faculty member of the Health Promotion Initiative. This problem occurs when people overly trust it as a way to deal with their emotions.
“Probably there is a healthy level of emotional diet, and then probably not, and we’re not really sure where it’s still,” she says.
According to Trebino, the study represents a new step in avoiding unhealthy behavior before it takes root.
“And that’s one of the reasons we chose eating habits as a potential intermediary to explain that emotional dietary relationship, because we changed the way parents give their children and they. Because it makes us more aware of that, ”says Trebino.
“And hopefully, by choosing what you can intervene in, you influence your emotional diet. Therefore, use this type of model to influence how parents give their children. We hope that this will reduce the emotional diet of unhealthy children. “
The study will be displayed in Psychology Frontier..
sauce: University of Oregon
Moms and dads shape their children’s emotional diet in different ways
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