Development and validation of the Infant Feeding Style Questionnaire

Appetite. 2009 Oct;53(2):210-21. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2009.06.010. Epub 2009 Jul 1.


This study describes and validates the Infant Feeding Style Questionnaire (IFSQ), a self-report instrument designed to measure feeding beliefs and behaviors among mothers of infants and young children. Categorical confirmatory factor analysis was used to estimate latent factors for five feeding styles, laissez-faire, restrictive, pressuring, responsive and indulgent, and to validate that items hypothesized a priori as measures of each style yielded well-fitting models. Models were tested and iteratively modified to determine the best fitting model for each of 13 feeding style sub-constructs, using a sample of 154 low-income African-American mothers of infants aged 3-20 months in North Carolina. With minor changes, models were confirmed in an independent sample of 150 African-American first-time mothers, yielding a final instrument with 39 questions on maternal beliefs, 24 questions on behaviors and an additional 20 behavioral items pertaining to solid feeding for infants over 6 months of age. Internal reliability measures for the sub-constructs ranged from 0.75 to 0.95. Several sub-constructs, responsive to satiety cues, pressuring with cereal, indulgent pampering and indulgent soothing, were inversely related to infant weight-for-length z-score, providing initial support for the validity of this instrument for assessing maternal feeding beliefs and behaviors that may influence infant weight outcomes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Americans
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Maternal Behavior* / ethnology
  • Maternal Behavior* / psychology
  • Poverty
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*