Mothers’ Parenting styles and attitudes to food

Francesca Cuzzocrea, Enrica Vinci, Roberta Famulari, Federica Andricciola


Background: Eating disorders can be very complex. Even if apparently can seem characterized only by a bad relationship with food, can hide much more serious and often silent problems. The present study aimed to examine several factors that can contribute onset of the declared eating disorder, such as mothers parenting styles and the influence of socio-cultural factors, in children and pre-teens.
Methods: 70 mothers (36 of children and 34 of pre-teens), had filled out some self-report relating to the perception of parenting style, socio-cultural influences on body image and eating disorders behavior.
Results: In predicting eating behavior both parenting styles and socio-cultural factors had a crucial role, the first through dysfunctional behavioural patterns adopted by the mothers, the latter through the presentation of models unattainable and perfect. In addition, in according to our hypothesis, fear of becoming fat and concerns for food are already present in children and largely than pre-teens.
Conclusions: This study contributes to the advancement of the literature on the combination of contextual factors in the eating disorders in children and pre-teens, highlighting the role played by mother dysfunctional parenting practices and the impact of the socio-cultural influences, as a source of information on ideal body.

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