Relationships Between Child Temperament and Eating Behaviors in Vietnamese School-age Children

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Nguyen Thi Minh Thanh
Nujjaree Chaimongkol
Yunne Pongjaturawit


Background:   School-age children develop physically and fat accumulates to prepare for puberty. They can have their own choices of food selection and consumption. Evidence showed that child temperament have influenced on eating behavior of school-age children. It has been found that temperament in childhood has been linked to later eating problems.

Objectives: This descriptive cross-sectional correlational study aimed to examine child temperament and eating behaviors and determine relationships between child temperament including negative reactivity, task persistence, withdrawal, and motor activity and eating behaviors of Vietnamese school-age children.  

Method: A cluster random sampling technique was used to recruit the sample of 225 school-age children who were studying in two primary schools in Hue city, Viet Nam. Data were collected from January to March, 2015. Research instruments included a demographic questionnaire, the Child Eating Behavior Questionnaire, and the School-Age Temperament Inventory-teacher version. Internal consistency reliabilities ranged from .62-.88. Data were analyzed by using the descriptive statistics, and Pearson’s product moment correlation.

Results: Results revealed that the mean score of temperament of negative reactivity was 2.25 (SD = .57), task persistence’s was 3.82 (SD = .81), withdrawal’s was 3.12 (SD = .60) and motor activity’s was 2.35 (SD = .91). Mean total score of eating behaviors was 2.49 (SD = .39).  There were significantly negative correlation between task persistence and eating behaviors (r = -.268, p < .001), and significantly positive correlation between motor activity and eating behaviors (r = .187, p < .01).

Conclusion: Child temperament of task persistence and motor activity related to eating behaviors in Vietnamese school-age children. Nurses and health care providers who are responsible for young children and preadolescent health should promote task persistence and decrease motor activity in school-age children. Consequently, their eating behaviors could be more appropriate.


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Thanh, N. T. M., Chaimongkol, N., & Pongjaturawit, Y. (2016). Relationships Between Child Temperament and Eating Behaviors in Vietnamese School-age Children. Journal of Research in Nursing-Midwifery and Health Sciences, 36(2), 1–13. Retrieved from
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