Does Temperament Underlie Infant Novel Food Responses?: Continuity of Approach-Withdrawal From 6 to 18 Months

Child Dev. 2018 Jul;89(4):e444-e458. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12902. Epub 2017 Aug 2.


This study investigated whether temperamental approach-withdrawal underlies infants' responses to novel foods. Data were drawn from a longitudinal study of mother-infant dyads (n = 136). Approach-withdrawal responses to novel foods and novel toys were coded when infants were 6 and 12 months of age. When infants were 18 months of age, approach-withdrawal behaviors, positive affect, and negative affect were used in a latent profile analysis to identify groups of toddlers who exhibited similar responses to novelty. As predicted, novel food and novel toy responses were concurrently associated at 12 months and followed a similar developmental pattern across the 1st year. Furthermore, novel food acceptance at 12 months of age, but not 6 months, predicted greater toddler approach.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Affect
  • Choice Behavior*
  • Exploratory Behavior*
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology
  • Female
  • Food Preferences / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Play and Playthings / psychology*
  • Psychology, Child*
  • Temperament*