Psychosocial factors associated with controlling feeding practices of Indian and Australian-Indian mothers.

Rati JANI, Seema Mihrshahi , Subhadra Mandalika , Kimberley Mallan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This cross-sectional study examined the association between psychosocial factors (mothers’ perception of own and child weight, maternal self-efficacy in feeding and involvement of the mother-in-law in child-feeding) and controlling feeding practices (monitoring, restriction, pressure to eat and passive feeding). Participants were 531 affluent-Indian mothers in Australia and Mumbai with children aged 1-5 years. The psychosocial variables and feeding practices were measured using a combination of previously validated scales and study-developed items/scales. Multivariable regression analyses were stratified by sample (Australia and Mumbai) to investigate psychosocial factors related to the feeding practices, adjusting for covariates. Self-efficacy in feeding was associated with each of the feeding practices in at least one of the samples (β values between 0.1-0.2, p= 0.04-0.005). The greater involvement of the mother-in-law in child-feeding was related to the higher use of restriction in both samples (β values ≥0.2, p=0.02). In contrast, maternal weight perceptions were not consistently associated with feeding practices in either sample. The findings highlighted that unique (self-efficacy in feeding) and culturally-specific (involvement of the mother-in-law) variables not extensively researched within the context of child-feeding were important factors associated with Indian mothers’ feeding practices. Greater consideration of these factors may be required when tailoring child-feeding interventions for Indian mothers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-401
Number of pages17
JournalAsian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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