My Child at mealtime parent self-assessment of food related behaviors: Validation with mealtime behaviors

Appetite. 2019 May 1;136:62-69. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2019.01.016. Epub 2019 Jan 21.


My Child at Mealtime (MCMT) is a visually enhanced, self-assessment tool designed to measure parent food related behaviors of low-income caregivers of preschool-aged children. The current study examined the factor structure of MCMT and the correspondence between MCMT parent- and child-centered food related behaviors with observed behaviors during a mealtime with their preschool aged child. Caregivers (N = 175) completed MCMT, and a subsample (n = 60) had a mealtime videotaped in their home. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis supported a two-factor structure resulting in parent-centered and child-centered MCMT subscales. There was a significant association between parent-centered MCMT scores and observed parent-centered behaviors at mealtime. Behavioral correspondence of MCMT child-centered behaviors was generally weaker. Overall, the findings suggest that caregivers' MCMT responses provide a valid measure of parent food related behaviors.

Keywords: Assessment; Family mealtime; Observation; Parental feeding.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Child Behavior / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Meals / psychology*
  • Parents*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self-Assessment*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / statistics & numerical data