Prematurity and the Transition to Self-Feeding: A Longitudinal Study on Mother-Child Interactions from 18 to 30 Months

Salvatori, Paola (2016) Prematurity and the Transition to Self-Feeding: A Longitudinal Study on Mother-Child Interactions from 18 to 30 Months, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze psicologiche, 28 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7421.
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The present research expanded on the literature investigating mother-child feeding and playing interactions during the transition to self-feeding (18-30 months) in the preterm population. Maternal and infant factors were also considered. A total of 69 mother-child dyads (44 preterm and 25 full-term) participated in the research. Assessments took place at 18, 24, and 30 months of the child. At each assessment, mother-child interactions during feeding (Study 1) and during a doll-play (DP) situation representing feeding (Study 2) were video recorded and later coded, respectively through the SVIA (Ammaniti et al., 2006) and the EAS (Biringen, 2008). Moreover, the child’s development was assessed through the Griffiths Scale (Griffiths, 1996, 2006) and mothers filled the BDI-II (Beck & Steer, 1996), the STAI (Spielberg, 1983), and an anamnestic questionnaire built Ad-Hoc. Results of Study 1 showed a greater occurrence of dysfunctional feeding interactions in the preterm compared to the full-term group from 18 to 30 months. Specifically, preterm dyads reported greater maternal negative affective state, greater interactional conflict and lower dyadic reciprocity. Moreover, a significantly lower percentage of children in the preterm group reached eating autonomy compared to the full-term group during the 18-30 months period. Furthermore, adverse past feeding history (difficult breastfeeding and reflux) and lower total scores on the Griffiths were associated to a higher risk of child’s food refusal. Results of Study 2 showed that the preterm group displayed lower emotional availability than the full-term group during mother-child DP interactions from 18 to 30 months, with lower maternal sensitivity, greater maternal intrusiveness, and lower child’s involvement. These findings indicate that special attention should be paid to support mother-child interactions during the transition to self-feeding in the preterm population in order to foster the mother-child relationship and promote the child’s healthy eating behavior and affective development.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Salvatori, Paola
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze umanistiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Prematurity, autonomy, toddlerhood, mother-child feeding interactions, emotional availability, doll-play, interactional conflict
Data di discussione
18 Maggio 2016

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