Emotional Over- and Undereating in Children: A Longitudinal Analysis of Child and Contextual Predictors
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Eating more or eating less in response to negative emotions, called emotional over‐ and undereating, is common in children, but research on the etiology of these behaviors is in its infancy. Drawing on a large, representative community sample of Norwegian children followed up on a biennial basis from 6 to 10 years of age (analysis sample: n = 802), child and contextual predictors (i.e., child temperament, depression symptoms, serious life events, family functioning, parental sensitivity and structuring) of change in emotional over‐ and undereating were examined. Results revealed that low (temperamental) soothability and less parental structuring at age 6 predicted increased emotional overeating at age 10 and that lower family functioning at age 6 predicted more emotional undereating during the same period.