Poster Topical Area: Maternal, Perinatal and Pediatric Nutrition

Location: Hall D

Poster Board Number: 269

P13-011 - Associations Between Momentary Parental Stress and Depressed Mood and Food-Related Parenting Practices at Meals: An Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA) Study

Sunday, Jun 10
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Objectives: Research suggests that stress and depressed mood are associated with food-related parenting practices (i.e., parent feeding practices, types of food served at meals). However, current measures of parental stress, depressed mood, and food-related parenting practices are typically survey-based and assessed as static/unchanging characteristics, failing to account for fluctuations across time and context. Identifying momentary factors that influence parent food-related parenting practices will facilitate the development of effective interventions aimed at promoting healthy food-related parenting practices. The current study uses ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to examine the association between momentary factors (e.g., stress, depressed mood) occurring early in the day and food-related parenting practices (e.g., feeding practices, serving healthy foods) at the dinner meal the same evening.

Children ages 5-7 years old and their primary caregiver (n=150) from low income and minority households (i.e., African American, Hispanic, Hmong, Native American, Somali, White families) were recruited to participate in this mixed-methods study through primary care clinics in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. In-home visits were conducted with parent-child dyads. EMA data was collected using parent's smartphones multiple times throughout the day.

Higher stress and depressed mood earlier in the day predicted more pressure-to-eat feeding practices and less homemade foods served at meals the same night. Effect modification was found for certain racial/ethnic groups with regard to engaging in pressure-to-eat feeding (i.e., Native American, Somali) practices or serving less homemade meals (i.e., African American, Hispanic) in the face of high stress or depressed mood.

Dietitians and other professionals that work with parents and children may want to consider discussing with parents the influence stress and depressed mood can have on every day food-related parenting practices. Additionally, future research and interventions should consider using real-time interventions, such as ecological momentary intervention (EMI) to reduce parental stress and depressed mood to promote healthy parent food-related parenting practices on a day-to-day basis.

Funding Source: National Institutes of Health

CoAuthors: Amanda Trofholz, MPH – University of Minnesota

Jerica M. Berge

Associate Professor
University of Minnesota
Arden Hills, Minnesota