Given the role of parental feeding practices in establishing children's eating habits, understanding sources of individual differences in feeding practices is important. This study examined the role of several psychological variables (i.e., parental perceived responsibility for child's eating, parental perceptions of the child's weight, and parents' own eating patterns) in individual differences in a variety of feeding practices. Parents of preschool age children completed surveys in a cross-sectional study. Two cultural contexts (i.e., US, n = 97 parents; and France, n = 122 parents) were included to assess the cross-cultural generalizability of the findings. Monitoring was associated with parental perceived responsibility for child's eating, parental restrained eating and parents' desire for their child to be thinner, especially in France. Restriction for weight reasons was more prevalent in the US and was associated with parents' perceived responsibility for child's eating, perception of child's body weight and parental restrained eating. Parental use of foods for non-nutritive purposes was more prevalent in the US and was associated with parental uncontrolled or emotional eating. Finally, parents' perceived responsibility for child's eating was strongly related to child control over feeding, teaching about nutrition, encouragement of balance and variety and modeling. These associations between psychological variables and parental feeding practices shed light on the sources of individual differences in feeding practices and suggest possible opportunities for intervention when feeding practices are sub-optimal.
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