Development of a theory-based questionnaire to assess structure and control in parent feeding (SCPF)

Jennifer S. Savage, Brandi Y. Rollins, Kari C. Kugler, Leann L. Birch, Michele E. Marini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Background: Parents shape children's eating environments and act as powerful socialization agents, impacting young children's behavioral controls of food intake. Most feeding measures assess parents' use of control to manage children's intake of energy dense foods. The Structure and Control in Parent Feeding (SCPF) questionnaire was developed to assess more positive aspects of feeding practices with their young children -setting limits, providing routines-that promote self-regulation, as well as controlling feeding practices. Methods: A mixed method approach was used to develop the SCPF. In 2013, cognitive interviews informed the modification, deletion and/or replacement of items. In 2014, the survey was distributed statewide to mothers of toddlers aged 12 to 36 months participating in the Women, Infants, and Children program. In 2016, exploratory factor analyses was conducted to test our theoretical parenting model and content validity and criterion validity were assessed (n = 334). Results: Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and second-order EFA revealed a 2-factor, 22-item Structure model and a 2-factor, 12-item Control model. Internal consistencies for all factors exceeded 0.70. As predicted, the Structure superfactor was positivity associated with responsiveness, whereas the Control superfactor was positively associated with demandingness on the Caregiver's Feeding Styles Questionnaire. The Structure subscales were also positively associated with mealtime behaviors and Control subscales were positively associated with control-oriented feeding measures from the Control in Parent Feeding Practices questionnaire. Conclusion: The SCPF questionnaire is a reliable tool that can be used to assess aspects of structure- and control-based feeding practices to better understand how parents feed their toddlers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 26 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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