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Feeding problems and self-compassion (Mahurin-Smith & Beck, 2021)

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journal contribution
posted on 30.06.2021, 20:01 by Jamie Mahurin-Smith, Ann Beck
Introduction: Infant feeding problems are strongly associated with caregiver stress, which in turn is linked to poorer outcomes for children. Self-compassion is a modifiable trait strongly associated with improved mental health and greater resilience. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationships among self-compassion, stress management practices, and caregiver stress in a sample of parents who identified feeding problems in their infants.
Method: Parents who identified feeding problems in their infants completed an online survey. They described the feeding problems, completed the Self-Compassion Scale and the Perceived Stress Scale, and detailed their stress management practices.
Results: Higher self-compassion was strongly associated with lower overall stress and more modestly associated with lower feeding-related distress. More severe feeding problems were significantly more stressful for caregivers. Participants reported a wide variety of stress management approaches.
Discussion: These findings indicate that higher self-compassion is associated with lower caregiver stress for parents whose infants experience feeding problems. Implications for service providers are reviewed.

Supplemental Material S1. Survey items.

Mahurin-Smith, J., & Beck, A. (2021). Caregivers’ experiences of infant feeding problems: The role of self-compassion and stress management. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2021_AJSLP-20-00298

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