Development and preliminary validation of the Parenting around SNAcking Questionnaire (P-SNAQ)

Appetite. 2018 Jun 1:125:323-332. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2018.01.035. Epub 2018 Feb 21.


Snacking makes significant contributions to children's dietary intake but is poorly understood from a parenting perspective. This research was designed to develop and evaluate the psychometrics of a theoretically grounded, empirically-informed measure of snack parenting. The Parenting around SNAcking Questionnaire (P-SNAQ) was developed using a conceptual model derived from current theory and mixed-methods research to include 20 hypothesized snack parenting practices along 4 parenting dimensions (autonomy support, structure, coercive control and permissiveness). Expert panel evaluation and cognitive interviews were used to refine items and construct definitions. The initial instrument of 105 items was administered to an ethnically diverse, low-income sample of 305 parents (92% mothers) of children aged 1-6 y participating in three existing cohort studies. The sample was randomly split into two equal samples. Exploratory factor analysis was conducted with the first sample to identify snack parenting practices within each parenting dimension, followed by confirmatory factor analysis with the second sample to test the hypothesized factor structure. Internal consistency of sub-scales and associations with existing measures of food parenting practices and styles and child weight status were evaluated. The final P-SNAQ scale included 51 items reflecting 14 snack parenting practices across four parenting dimensions. The factor structure of the P-SNAQ was consistent with prior theoretical frameworks. Internal consistency coefficients were good to very good for 12 out of 14 scales and subscale scores were moderately correlated with previously validated measures. In conclusion, initial evidence suggests that P-SNAQ is a psychometrically sound measure for evaluating a wide range of snack parenting practices in young children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child Rearing
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diet*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Mothers
  • Parenting*
  • Parents*
  • Poverty
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Snacks*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*