Maternal mind-mindedness during infancy, general parenting sensitivity and observed child feeding behavior: A longitudinal study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Aston University


Maternal mind-mindedness, or the tendency to view the child as a mental agent, has been shown to predict sensitive and responsive parenting behavior. As yet the role of mind-mindedness has not been explored in the context of feeding interactions. This study evaluates the relations between maternal mind-mindedness at 6 months of infant age and subsequently observed maternal sensitivity and feeding behaviors with children at age 1 year. Maternal mind-mindedness was greater in mothers who had breast-fed compared to formula-fed. Controlling for breast-feeding, mind-mindedness at 6 months was correlated with observations of more sensitive and positive feeding behaviors at 1 year of age. Mind-mindedness was also associated with greater general maternal sensitivity in play and this general parenting sensitivity mediated the effect of mind-mindedness on more sensitive and positive feeding behaviors. Interventions to promote maternal tendency to consider their child's mental states may encourage more adaptive parental feeding behaviors.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-241
Number of pages12
JournalAttachment and Human Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • breast-feeding, child feeding, feeding behavior, mind-mindedness, sensitive

Sustainable Development Goals