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Relationships between feeding problems, behavioral characteristics and nutritional quality in children with ASD.

TitleRelationships between feeding problems, behavioral characteristics and nutritional quality in children with ASD.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsJohnson, CR, Turner, K, Stewart, PA, Schmidt, BL, Shui, AM, Macklin, EA, Reynolds, AM, S. James, J, Johnson, SL, Courtney, PManning, Hyman, SL
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Date Published2014 Sep
Keywordsairp, Child, Child Behavior, Child Development Disorders, Pervasive, Child, Preschool, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Male, Nutritional Status

Many children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have co-occurring feeding problems. However, there is limited knowledge about how these feeding habits are related to other behavioral characteristics ubiqitious in ASD. In a relatively large sample of 256 children with ASD, ages 2-11, we examined the relationships between feeding and mealtime behaviors and social, communication, and cognitive levels as well repetitive and ritualistic behaviors, sensory behaviors, and externalizing and internalizing behaviors. Finally, we examined whether feeding habits were predictive of nutritional adequacy. In this sample, we found strong associations between parent reported feeding habits and (1) repetitive and ritualistic behaviors, (2) sensory features, and (3) externalizing and internalizing behavior. There was a lack of association between feeding behaviors and the social and communication deficits of ASD and cognitive levels. Increases in the degree of problematic feeding behaviors predicted decrements in nutritional adequacy.

Alternate JournalJ Autism Dev Disord
PubMed ID24664635
Grant ListUA3 MC 11054 / / PHS HHS / United States
UL1 RR 024160 / RR / NCRR NIH HHS / United States