Overt and covert control are novel constructs representing two different parental feeding practices with regard to the child's ability to detect them. Preliminary research indicates that covert control is linked to a healthier diet and lower child weight status. In this study, we report the first psychometric validation of the original measures of overt and covert control outside the UK in a large sample of parents of preschoolers.
Based on records from the population register, all mothers of 4-year-olds (n = 3007) from the third largest city in Sweden, Malmö, were contacted by mail. Out of those, 876 returned the measures of overt and covert control together with a background questionnaire and the Child Feeding Questionnaire (CFQ). Test-retest data were obtained from 64% (n = 563) of these mothers. The mean age of the mothers was 35.6 years; their mean BMI was 24.1, 31.5% were overweight or obese. The children were on average 4.5 years old; 48% were girls, 12.8% were overweight or obese.
While the fit for the original 9-item 2-factor model was poor, shorter 8- and 6-item versions were supported by confirmatory factor analysis (CFI > 0.95, RMSEA