Definition and Coding Range of Interpersonal and Food-Related Codes in the IFIRS

VariableDefinitionExample of Low Score (1–4)Example of High Score (6–9)Percentage (SE)a
Nonoverweight (n = 60)Overweight (n = 60)
Interpersonal and food-related family-level dynamics
 Group enjoymentDegree of enjoyment, pleasure, fun, and satisfaction among all family members at the mealEnjoyment, fun, or pleasure is not observed during the mealEnjoyment is apparent, such as laughing and smiling occurs frequently5.44 (0.3)b4.10 (0.3)b
 Relationship qualityQuality of the relationship between 2 people at the mealCharacterized as unhappy, conflicted, brittle, or uninvolvedOpen, satisfying, pleasing, communicative, and/or warm; family members appear to enjoy each other’s company70 (5)43 (6)
 HostilityDegree of hostile, angry, critical, disapproving and/or rejecting behavior toward anotherMild criticism, occasional abrupt remark, a scowl or frown, a cynical smile or teaseHigh degree of shouting, angry tones of voice, heavy use of sarcasm, frequent criticism or mocking12 (2)27 (4)
 Food hostilityFood/mealtime specific hostilityLimited food related hostility is observed during the mealStatements such as “I am not eating this gross food” or “You’re such a pig!”1.1 (1)11 (3)
 Lecture/moralizeDegree of lecturing, preachy, intrusive, pushy, and/or moralizing behavior toward anotherBrief, infrequent, and low-intensity lecturesExtended and unrelenting lectures that inhibit 2-way communication1.6 (1)3.3 (1)
 Food lecture/moralizeFood/mealtime specific lectures or moralizing toward anotherNo food-related lectures or moralizing are observed during the mealStatements such as “Children in other countries are starving while you waste food”0.1 (0)2 (1)
 Warmth/nurtureDegree of expressing liking, appreciation, praise, care, concern, or support for anotherNo examples of warmth or support are observed during the mealOffers a high degree of encouragement and praise, high degree of affectionate touching, warm smile, and/or positive comment18 (6)2.2 (2)
 Food warmth/nurtureFood/mealtime specific warmth or nurturing for anotherNo food warmth is observed during the mealStatements such as “Thanks, this is yummy” and “You eat really healthy”5 (3)ID
 CommunicationExtent of neutral or positive expression of needs and wants, rules and regulations, as well as clearly expresses information and ideas that may be useful to anotherCommunication skills are almost entirely absent; rarely or never uses reasoning, explanations, and clarification to make himself/herself understoodFrequently uses appropriate reasoning, explanations, and clarifications to make him/herself understood40 (6)27 (6)
 Food communicationCommunication that is specific to food or the child’s behavior regarding foodLow levels of communication about food is observed during the meal, such as “pass the salt and pepper”Statements such as “Why do you think we should eat healthy?” or “How do you think these grapes were grown?”9.8 (4)1.9 (1)
 Silence/pauseExtent of tense or uncomfortable gaps and pauses in the ongoing conversations between 2 peopleRare to no tense gaps and pausesFrequent and highly intense gaps and pauses0.2 (0)2.2 (2)
Interpersonal and food-related parent-level dynamics
 Parental influence/limit settingParent’s attempts to socialize the childParent rarely attempts to regulate, control, or influence the child’s behaviorParent consistently attempts to control and regulate the child’s behavior, frequently setting standards, or provides expectations for age-appropriate behaviors19 (5)33 (6)
 Food parental influence/limit settingFood/mealtime specific parental influence on what the child eats or how he/she should behave around foodParent rarely attempts to influence child’s eating behaviors, such as just watching as the child takes food from a sibling’s plate and eats itParent consistently controls and monitors child’s eating behaviors; statements such as “Eat like a big boy,” “Stay at the table until you are done eating”11 (4)23 (6)
 Indulgent/permissiveThe degree to which a parent gives the child an inappropriate degree of freedom to regulate or control his/her own behaviorRare demonstrations of indulgent behaviorsFails to make attempts to control the child’s behavior and/or almost never provides regulations or sets standards for the child to follow1.5 (1)15 (5)
 Food indulgent/permissiveFood/mealtime specific permissivenessRare food-specific indulgent or permissive behaviors are observed during the mealParent allows behavior like letting the child play with his/her food, eat as much as he/she want, or caters to the child’s every need at the table0.5 (0)12 (4)
 Positive reinforcementThe extent to which a parent’s response to a child includes the use of praise, approval, rewards, special privileges, or smilesParental responses are never affirming or positively reinforcingResponses to child behavior are frequently affirming and positive7.0 (3)ID
 Food positive reinforcementFood/mealtime specific positive reinforcementFew food-related positive reinforcement statements are made by the parent during the mealThe extent to which the parent uses contingency approval, rewards, or special privileges to reinforce a child’s eating behaviors5 (3)ID
 Inconsistent disciplineParental inconsistency in following through on expected consequences; failure to maintain and adhere to rules/standards set for child behaviorParent is consistent or if a parent has no rules, or if there is no evidence of disciplinary behaviorFrequently inconsistent in maintaining and adhering to rules and standards of conduct1.5 (1)16 (5)
 Food inconsistent disciplineFood/mealtime specific inconsistent disciplineLittle food-related inconsistent discipline by parent is observed during the mealInconsistent messages about food rules/limits are set by parents during the meal such as “Eat your vegetables” and then parent does not enforce the rule1.3 (1)13 (4)
 Intrusiveness/controlAssesses intrusive and overcontrolling behaviors that are parent-centered rather than child-centeredFew to no instances in which the parent is overcontrolling and unnecessarily imposes his/her own agenda on the childParent controls the interaction, allowing the child little self-direction in activities, may forcefully and physically control the child2.4 (1)4.9 (3)
 Food intrusiveness/controlFood/mealtime specific intrusiveness or control by the parent; parents agenda to get child to eat foodFew food-specific intrusive behaviors by the parent are observed during the mealStatements such as “You must clean your plate,” “You shouldn’t eat so much,” or “You don’t need second helpings of that”1.3 (1)4.3 (3)
  • ID, insufficient data.

  • a Data are presented as mean percentages (SE) of interaction dyads exhibiting high levels (≥5 on a scale from 1 to 9) of the relevant behavior (crude) unless otherwise indicated. For example, the “Relationship quality” rate of 70% (nonoverweight column) means that 70% of the relationship dyads in the nonoverweight families had “high” relationship quality scores in comparison with 43% in the overweight families.

  • b Mean (SE) score on a scale from 1 to 9 (crude).