The Role of Parents' Romantic Relationship Warmth and Hostility in Child Feeding Practices and Children's Eating Behaviours

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This research examined the associations between parents' reports of the quality of their romantic relationships with their partner/spouse, their feeding interactions with their children, and their children's eating behaviours. One hundred and fifty-six married/cohabiting mothers of young children completed self-report measures of their romantic relationship quality, child feeding practices and children's eating behaviours. Reports of a less warm, more hostile romantic relationship were associated with children's less adaptive eating behaviours. More hostile relationship quality was also related to greater restriction of their children's food intake. The quality of parents' romantic relationships is associated with parental feeding practices and children's eating behaviours. Further work should examine the emotional tone of mealtimes in order to discover whether this may be the mechanism of the relationship.


Original languageEnglish
JournalMaternal and Child Nutrition
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • parents, child feeding, warmth, eating, romantic relationships, hostility