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Eating Behaviors in Overweight Children of Binge Eating Mothers

Ringham, Rebecca (2006) Eating Behaviors in Overweight Children of Binge Eating Mothers. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Obesity has significant medical and psychosocial morbidity and is increasingly prevalent among children. Available evidence suggests that children report binge eating and maladaptive eating behaviors and attitudes, which may contribute to overweight. Further, maternal eating attitudes and behaviors may influence children's eating and weight, yet little is known about the relationship among these variables. Thus, the current study investigated aberrant eating and its cognitive correlates in overweight children of mothers with binge eating problems. Sixty-eight mothers and their biological children were interviewed using the Eating Disorder Examination, adult (EDE) and child (ChEDE) versions, to assess binge eating and associated attitudes and behaviors. Participants also completed the Children's Depression Inventory, EAS Temperament Survey, and a demographic questionnaire. Height and weight was measured in mothers and children to determine BMI (kg/m2). Mothers were on average, overweight (BMI = 32.71 + 7.83 kg/m2), 38 years old, and predominantly Caucasian (63%). Children were 9.5 years old (+ 1.4) and 63% were female. The children's BMI ranged from 19.28 to 35.58 kg/m2 (M + SD; 26.66 + 3.65). Results indicated that 38% of overweight children reported recent loss of control over their eating, a feature related to binge eating in adults. Moreover, similar to findings in adults with BED, children with loss of control also endorsed more eating disorder cognitions and depression compared to children without loss of control (ps < .01). However, the percentage of children reporting loss of control over their eating did not differ in children of mothers with and without binge eating (50.0% versus 35.9%; Х2 (1, N = 53) = .85, p = .355. Secondary analyses utilizing continuous measures of mother and child aberrant eating supported a relationship between maternal and child aberrant eating, as well as relationships among child BMI, child depression, and child aberrant eating. In contrast, child temperament was not related to child aberrant eating in this sample of overweight children. Data from this study will contribute to future work examining factors related to the treatment and prevention of childhood overweight.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMarcus, Marsha D
Committee MemberMarsland, Anna
Committee MemberGreeno, Catherine
Committee MemberKalarchian, Melissa
Committee MemberManuck, Stephen
Date: 29 September 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 27 July 2006
Approval Date: 29 September 2006
Submission Date: 13 August 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: familial; mood; pediatric; weight
Other ID:, etd-08132006-144655
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:59
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:49


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