ABSTRACT: Abstract Two groups of primiparous mothers and their infants were observed at home during play and at a mealtime when the infants were 12–14 months old. The index group consisted of mothers who had experienced an eating disorder during the postnatal year while the control group had been free from such psychopathology. The main findings were that, when compared to controls, the index mothers were more intrusive with their infants during both mealtimes and play; and that they expressed more negative emotion towards their infants during mealtimes but not during play- There were, however, no differences between the groups in their positive expressed emotion. The index infants' emotional tone was generally more negative and their mealtimes more conflictual compared to controls. Furthermore, the index infants tended to be lighter than controls and infant weight was found to be independently and inversely related to both the amount of conflict during mealtimes and the extent of the mother's concern about her own body shape
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 12/2006; 35(4):733 - 748. · 4.28 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Children of mothers with eating disorders are at increased risk of developmental disturbance, but there has been little research in middle childhood, when disturbed eating habits tend to emerge.
To examine whether maternal eating disorders identified in the postnatal year are associated with the development of disturbed eating habits and attitudes in children at 10 years of age.
Follow-up comparative study of 56 families (33 mothers with eating disorders and 23 controls). Psychopathology of children, mothers and fathers was assessed by interview, and mother-child interaction observed.
The index group of children scored higher than controls on three of four domains of eating disorder psychopathology and on a global score. Children's eating disturbance was associated with length of exposure to mothers' eating disorder and mother-child mealtime conflict at 5 years. There was some evidence of increased emotional problems in index children.
The children of mothers with eating disorders manifested disturbed eating habits and attitudes compared with controls, and may be at heightened risk of developing frank eating disorder psychopathology.
The British Journal of Psychiatry 11/2006; 189:324-9. · 6.62 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: Maternal eating disorders interfere with parenting, adversely affecting mother-infant interaction and infant outcome. This trial tested whether video-feedback treatment specifically targeting mother-child interaction would be superior to counseling in improving mother-child interaction, especially mealtime conflict, and infant weight and autonomy.
The participants were 80 mothers with bulimia nervosa or similar eating disorder who were attending routine baby clinics and whose infants were 4-6 months old. They were randomly assigned to video-feedback interactional treatment or supportive counseling. Both groups also received guided cognitive behavior self-help for their eating disorder. Each group received 13 sessions. The primary outcome measure was mealtime conflict; secondary outcome measures were infant weight, aspects of mother-infant interaction, and infant autonomy.
Seventy-seven mothers were followed up when their infants were 13 months old. The video-feedback group exhibited significantly less mealtime conflict than the control subjects. Nine of 38 (23.7%) in the video-feedback group showed episodes of marked or severe conflict, compared with 21 of 39 (53.8%) control subjects (odds ratio=0.27, 95% confidence interval=0.10 to 0.73). Video feedback produced significant improvements in several other interaction measures and greater infant autonomy. Both groups maintained good infant weight, with no differences between groups. Maternal eating psychopathology was reduced across both groups.
Video-feedback treatment focusing on mother-infant interaction produced improvements in interaction and infant autonomy, and both groups maintained adequate infant weight. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first controlled trial to show key improvements in interaction between mothers with postnatal psychiatric disorders and their infants.
American Journal of Psychiatry 06/2006; 163(5):899-906. · 12.54 Impact Factor