Assessing the feeding/eating interaction as a context for the development of social competence in toddlers

Adele Mattinat Spegman, Gail Houck

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Scopus citations


    Social competence likely develops through the reciprocal nature of mother-child interactions. Interactions around food provide the young child with consistent and predictable social experiences with the mother, which may establish templates for interactive patterns with others. The Toddler Snack Scale (TSS) assesses the pattern of toddler social behaviors in relation to maternal behaviors during an eating episode. Scale reliability was examined with a sample of 126 dyads at the child's ages of 12, 24, and 36 months. Significant associations were found between TSS classifications and concurrent measures assessed with the Nursing Child Assessment Teaching Scale (NCATS), the Control-Autonomy Balance Scale (CABS), and the Adaptive Social Behavioral Inventory (ASBI). Child temperament contributed to child expressions of social competence, but not to the assignment of maternal or child interaction styles. The scale identifies salient areas for parent-child assessment and intervention throughout infancy and toddlerhood.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)213-236
    Number of pages24
    JournalIssues in Comprehensive Pediatric Nursing
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2005


    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nursing(all)

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