Details of Thesis

Title Bringing Up Children In Taiwan: Parents’ Beliefs, Concerns and Coping Strategies Relating to Preschool Children’s Food Acceptance Behaviour
Author Tsai, Shu-Fang
Institution Australian Catholic University
Date 2006
Abstract This study examined the food acceptance behaviour of preschool children in Taiwan from their parents’ perspectives. The research explored food preferences and aversions of preschool children and how parents’ beliefs, concerns and coping strategies influenced their food acceptance behaviour. This qualitative study used in-depth interviews to obtain answers to the research questions. This appears to be the first study of its kind in Taiwan. The results of this research were represented in three ways: as themes and sub-themes, as narratives for two families, and as concept maps to show the relationship between themes and preschool children’s food acceptance behaviour. The major findings of this research are firstly, that children showed a wide range of food acceptance behaviours that are established early in life. Secondly, parents had a number of beliefs and concerns about the nature of the food acceptance behaviour of their preschool children. They described many factors that they believe affect their children’s eating behaviour including the influence of caregivers, parents themselves, siblings, grandparents, peers, the kindergarten teacher, the kindergarten cook, and the media. Thirdly, parents’ rearing styles influence the eating habits of preschool children. The thesis concludes by pointing to useful directions and recommendations for further research, education and policy around the issue of early childhood food acceptance behaviour.
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