Child and Parent Variables Associated with Texture Problems in Children’s Feeding

Authors: Seiverling, Laura1; Hendy, Helen2; Williams, Keith3

Source: Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, Volume 23, Number 4, August 2011 , pp. 303-311(9)

Publisher: Springer

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Despite prevalence of texture selectivity among children with feeding problems, no research has developed a psychometrically tested measure of Texture Problems or examined variables associated with them. The present study develops a simple measure of Texture Problems in children’s feeding behavior, examines associations between Texture Problems and outcome measures of clinical importance (such as children’s weight, diet variety, and mealtime behavior problems), and identifies child and parent variables associated with increased risk for Texture Problems. Participants included 248 children from a hospital feeding clinic (163 boys, 85 girls; mean age = 48.9¬†months; 50 with autism, 96 with other special needs, 102 with no special needs). Parents completed questionnaires to report their children’s demographic and medical information, ability to consume foods of various textures, variety of foods consumed, mealtime behavior problems and the parent’s mealtime actions. Factor analysis identified a new four-item measure of Texture Problems, which was associated with heavier weight status, reduced diet variety, less disruptive behavior, a decreased desire to drink, more food refusal and limited variety. Children’s demographic and medical variables associated with texture problems were younger age, male, and prematurity. Parents of children with more texture problems often served their children special meals other than shared family meals.

Keywords: Feeding problems; Oral motor delays; Texture problems

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Westchester Institute for Human Development, Valhalla, NY, USA 2: Penn State Schuylkill, Psychology Department, Schuylkill Haven, PA, USA 3: Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Pediatric Feeding Clinic, Hershey, PA, USA, Email:

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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