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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis-ISU Access Only

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Tammy Harpel


The aim of this study was to determine if there is a relationship between parental technology distraction at mealtimes, food parenting practices, and child food neophobia. Midwestern parents (n = 84) of preschool age children (3-5 years old) completed an online survey to measure child food neophobia (Food Neophobia Scale), parental distraction by technology at mealtimes (DISRUPT Mealtime Scale), food parenting practices (Comprehensive Feeding Practices Questionnaire), and media use among parents and children (General Parent and Child Media Use). Descriptive statistics were used to describe technology usage, while linear regressions tested the relationships between parental distraction by technology at mealtimes, food parenting practices, and child food neophobia using parental race and education as controls. Participants were predominantly Caucasian (80%), mothers (90%) and had at least a 4-year degree (88%). No significant relationships were found between parental technology distraction at mealtimes and food parenting practices or child food neophobia. However, child food neophobia was inversely related to parental use of teaching about nutrition ( = -.299 p = 0.004) and positively related to the child’s control of his or her own eating ( = .305, p = 0.005). Food responsiveness (t = 2.68, p = .009) and emotional over eating (t = 2.18, p = .032) were also found to be significant, having a positive relationship with technoference. Although direction of influence cannot be assessed, this study provides some evidence as to how food related parenting practices can be targeted in obesity prevention programs. For example, future interventions should encourage parents to teach their children about nutrition during mealtimes.


Imported from ProQuest Gramm_ilstu_0092N_10922.pdf


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