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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2012, Article ID 327259, 12 pages
Review Article

Parental Influences on Children's Self-Regulation of Energy Intake: Insights from Developmental Literature on Emotion Regulation

1Children’s Nutrition Research Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2Department of Human Development, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
3Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA
4Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA

Received 4 November 2011; Accepted 11 January 2012

Academic Editor: Jutta Mata

Copyright © 2012 Leslie A. Frankel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The following article examines the role of parents in the development of children's self-regulation of energy intake. Various paths of parental influence are offered based on the literature on parental influences on children's emotion self-regulation. The parental paths include modeling, responses to children's behavior, assistance in helping children self-regulate, and motivating children through rewards and punishments. Additionally, sources of variation in parental influences on regulation are examined, including parenting style, child temperament, and child-parent attachment security. Parallels in the nature of parents' role in socializing children's regulation of emotions and energy intake are examined. Implications for future research are discussed.