What Does Conversation Analysis Reveal About the Differences in Parent-Child Interaction Between a Child with Persistent Non-Organic Feeding Difficulties and a Typically Developing Child at Mealtimes?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The study examined mother-child interaction at mealtimes. Two children and their mothers participated in the study. One child had a diagnosis of non-organic feeding disorder and the other was typically developing. A conversation analytic approach was used to study the interactional manifestations of the feeding disorder in mealtime conversation. Contrastive analysis of the data revealed a number of differences between the dyads. The feeding disordered (focus) dyad displayed more power struggles and long pauses in interaction. The adult participant utilised topic curtailment, turn design and physical modification of the eating environment to restrict social interaction and increase eating. The child participant displayed increased food avoidance and play; and atypical gaze and gesture patterns. The typically developing (comparison) dyad displayed greater reciprocity and coordination in interaction. However, the comparison dyad became more similar to the interactional patterns of the focus dyad as the mealtime progressed. Patterns of interaction relate to participant’s negotiation of eating and social functions in interaction and the extent to which each dyad manages this effectively. Results are discussed in relation to current theoretical approaches to mealtime parent-child interaction in feeding disorders. Data support that a conversational approach is a useful adjunct to the assessment and management of non-organic feeding disorders.
B.Sc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy
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