Previous research has shown that general parenting styles, general parenting dimensions, maternal feeding styles, and maternal feeding practices all show specific relationships with the weight status of young children. This study examined the relationships between general parenting and maternal feeding styles/practices in a sample of 187 Hispanic mothers with low incomes. As part of a larger study, mothers of preschool children were recruited through Head Start programs and completed validated questionnaires assessing their general parenting, feeding styles, and feeding practices. Results identified numerous associations between general parenting dimensions and specific feeding practices: i.e., maternal nurturance was positively associated with healthy eating guidance and feeding responsiveness; inconsistency was positively associated with restriction for weight and promotion of overconsumption; follow through on discipline was positively associated with monitoring, healthy eating guidance, and feeding responsiveness; and family organization was positively associated with monitoring and healthy eating guidance. General parenting styles were associated with feeding practices as well, with authoritative mothers showing the highest levels of healthy eating guidance and authoritarian mothers showing the lowest levels of monitoring. There were no significant associations between mothers' general parenting styles and mothers' feeding styles. Implications of these findings for the prevention of childhood obesity are considered.
Keywords: Latina; feeding practices; feeding styles; general parenting styles; low-income; preschool children.