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.
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