Development and preliminary validation of a feeding coparenting scale (FCS)

Appetite. 2019 Aug 1;139:152-158. doi: 10.1016/j.appet.2019.04.020. Epub 2019 Apr 27.


Evidence is growing that fathers, along with mothers, play an important role in children's eating and obesity risk. Qualitative work with a small sample found that the roles of fathers and mothers are not mutually exclusive in shaping their child's eating behaviors, rather fathers and mothers may relate to one another in their roles as parents in food parenting (i.e., feeding coparenting). There is currently no self-reported measure of how fathers and mothers coparent around child feeding. However, it would be useful in order to be able to assess this construct more broadly. Hence, based on prior qualitative work and findings related to the roles of fathers and mothers in food parenting, we developed a feeding coparenting scale (FCS). Parent responses on the FCS and measures of related constructs (i.e., relationship satisfaction, traditional gender-role attitudes, general coparenting, and perceived involvement in child feeding tasks) that were hypothesized to relate to feeding coparenting were assessed among 307 parents (n = 178 females) of preschool-aged children through Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) in order to examine the validity and reliability of the FCS. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to examine the psychometric properties of the FCS. Three factors emerged: 1) shared positive views and values in child feeding, 2) active engagement in child feeding, and 3) solo parenting in child feeding. A total feeding coparenting score was also calculated. Support for construct validity of the measure with constructs hypothesized to be associated with FCS (e.g., relationship satisfaction) was observed. The internal consistency of the FCS total and subscales was adequate for whole sample, fathers, and mothers. Results suggest that the FCS may be a useful tool for assessing how mothers and fathers work together with each other in the child feeding domain.

Keywords: Child; Coparenting; Father; Feeding; Mother.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Behavior / psychology
  • Child Rearing / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Feeding Behavior / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting / psychology*
  • Parents / psychology*
  • Psychological Tests / standards*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results