Eating Disorders in Infancy and Early Childhood

Irene Chatoor

in The Oxford Handbook of Child and Adolescent Eating Disorders: Developmental Perspectives

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199744459
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Eating Disorders in Infancy and Early Childhood

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In the past, feeding difficulties and growth problems were often classified as failure to thrive, and in 1994, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) introduced for the first time “Feeding Disorder of Infancy and Early Childhood.” The definition of feeding disorder is, however, so narrow that it does not address feeding disorders that are not accompanied by growth failure or that have associated medical conditions. The author has developed a classification of feeding disorders that delineates the following six feeding disorders: feeding disorder of state regulation, feeding disorder of caregiver–infant reciprocity, infantile anorexia, sensory food aversions, post-traumatic feeding disorder, and feeding disorder associated with a medical condition. The clinical symptoms differentiate feeding disorders from one another, and criteria of impairment differentiate feeding disorders from milder and subclinical feeding problems. Most importantly, each feeding disorder responds differently to different interventions, and what may be helpful for one feeding disorder may be ineffective or even contraindicated for another.

Keywords: Feeding disorders; failure to thrive; feeding disorder of caregiver–infant reciprocity; infantile anorexia; sensory food aversions; post-traumatic feeding disorder; feeding disorder associated with a medical condition; diagnosis; treatment

Article.  12001 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology ; Developmental Psychology

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