Empirically supported treatments in pediatric psychology: Severe feeding problems

Mary Louise E. Kerwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

192 Scopus citations


Objective: To identify treatment studies for severe pediatric feeding problems that meet the modified methodological criteria of the Task Force on Promotion and Dissemination of Psychological Procedures (1995). Methods: Articles in peer-reviewed medical and psychological journals (1970-1997) reporting psychosocial or behavioral intervention studies targeting an identified oral feeding problem in children were selected. Methodologically rigorous studies were identified and treatments were classified as well established, probably efficacious, or promising interventions according to specified criteria. Results: Effective interventions for children with severe feeding problems are contingency management treatments that include positive reinforcement of appropriate feeding responses and ignoring or guiding inappropriate responses. Promising interventions include positive reinforcement for acceptance and not removing the spoon for refusal and swallow induction training. Conclusions: Because only studies of behavioral interventions met methodological criteria, well-controlled intervention studies are needed across a variety of theoretical perspectives. Empirically supported treatments for feeding problems exist; it is now time to turn to questions about for whom they are appropriate, and when, and why.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-216
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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