The relationships between impulsivity, weight, eating behaviour and parental feeding practices in children

Bennett, Carmel (2015). The relationships between impulsivity, weight, eating behaviour and parental feeding practices in children. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

PDF - Redacted Version

Download (2MB)


Previous research has indicated that impulsivity is associated with child weight, eating behaviour and some controlling feeding practices and that there are differences in these variables between children with high (including clinically elevated) and low impulsivity levels. Few of these studies have used a range of impulsivity measures to assess this multifaceted concept. This thesis aimed to explore these relationships and differences using a range of parent-report and behavioural impulsivity measures. Three samples of children (2-4-year-olds, 7 -11 -year-olds and 5-15-year-olds) and their parents participated in three studies. Analyses indicated that impulsivity was positively associated with child weight and snack intake (Chapters Three and Five). Links between impulsivity, restriction and pressure to eat were mixed (Chapters Three and Five). Parental monitoring moderated links between impulsivity and food approach behaviour; a lack of monitoring was detrimental to child eating behaviour (Chapter Three). Observations of mealtime behaviours of parent-child dyads in which children had high vs. low impulsivity levels showed that parents of children with high impulsivity levels used more pressure to eat, while their children made more requests for food (Chapter Four). Furthermore, impulsivity, dietary restraint and stress interacted in their effects over snack intake; children high in impulsivity and dietary restraint decreased their intake under stress, while children low in dietary restraint increased their intake under stress (Chapter Six). Finally, parents and their children with and without clinically elevated impulsivity levels differed in eating and feeding behaviours (Chapter Seven). Interesting gender differences emerged throughout and the implications of the results and limitations of the individual studies are discussed in each chapter.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Psychology
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine


Request a Correction Request a Correction
View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year