Counseling Psychology
Assessment Tools

Instrument for the identification of parental feeding strategies (ISS)



ISS is an instrument to identify parental feeding strategies. From the earliestchildhood parents have many different influences on the eating behaviour, the foodintake and therefore on the weight status of their child. The questionnaire serves todiscover explicit strategies, which parents use to teach their children a certain eatingbehaviour. Besides an active feeding through restricting, pressurizing or rewardingwith food, also a passive feeding through modelling, monitoring and allowing morechild"s control will be received. So, this instrument is using for cause analysis foroverweight or eating problems as well as performance controls in prevention orintervention activities.


The questionnaire is composed of 21 items, which contains six strategies (restriction,pressurizing, rewarding, modeling, monitoring and allowing the child more controlabout his food). All strategies are measured on a 5-point Likert scale with higherscores indicating a more frequent use of that scale. The duration for filling out thisquestionnaire is about ten minutes.


The different scales were averaged out the following items:

  1. Restriction as the extent to which mothers control their child"s food (item 1-6)
  2. Rewarding as the use of food as reward as well as the rewarding of spezialfood (item 7-10)
  3. Pressure as urging their child to eat more food (item 11-13)
  4. Monitoring as overseeing their child"s eating (items 14-16)
  5. Child"s control as allowing the child to have control over its own food intake(items 17-19)
  6. Modelling as parents intentional action as a model (items 20-21)


All scales show a good reliability (restriction α = .75; rewarding α = .77; pressure α = .84; monitoring α = .93; child"s control α = .73; modeling α = .77). The retestcoefficients (retest after 2-4 weeks) were at medium range (rtt = .41 - .78).


The construction of the ISS as well as its validation took place in:

  1. A sample of 163 mothers of 3-6-year-old children:

    Kröller, K. & Warschburger, P. (2009). ISS - ein Instrument zur Erfassungelterlicher Steuerungsstrategien in der Essenssituation. Diagnostica, 55, 135-143.

Additionally, we used the questionnaire in the following studies, showing satisfyingstructure and reliability statistics:

  1. Administering questionnaires in 219 mothers of 3-6-years-old children with ahigher risk for getting overweight:

    Kröller, K. & Warschburger, P. (2008). Associations between maternal feedingstyle and food intake of children with higher risk for overweight. Appetite, 51,166-172.

  2. Administering questionnaires in 556 mothers of 1-10-years-old children:

    Kröller, K. & Warschburger, P. (2009). Maternal feeding strategies and child"s food intake: Considering weight and demographic influences using structuralequation modeling. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and PhysicalActivity, 6, 78-86.

  3. A mealtime observation on 30 mothers of 3-6-years-old children (unpublisheddata).

[PDF Datei]Questionnaire PDF file  (32 KB)


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