The Pediatric Eating Assessment Tool: Factor Structure and Psychometric Properties

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The Pediatric Eating Assessment Tool (PediEAT) is a parent-report instrument developed to assess symptoms of feeding problems in children aged 6 months to 7 years. The purpose of this study was to identify the factor structure of the PediEAT and test its psychometric properties, including internal consistency reliability, temporal stability, and construct validity.


Participants included 567 parents of children aged 6 months to 7 years. Fifty-four percent of the sample had parent report of a diagnosed feeding problem or feeding concerns. Exploratory factor-analysis techniques were used to remove redundant or non-endorsed items and identify the factor structure of the instrument. Construct validity was examined with 466 parents completing the Mealtime Behavior Questionnaire as a criterion standard. Known-groups validation was used to compare PediEAT scores between children with and without diagnosed feeding problems. Temporal stability of the PediEAT was examined with 97 parents repeating the PediEAT after 2 weeks.


Principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation supported a 4-factor model accounting for 39.4% of the total variance. The 4 subscales (Physiologic Symptoms, Problematic Mealtime Behaviors, Selective/Restrictive Eating, Oral Processing) demonstrated acceptable internal consistencies (coefficient alphas: 0.92, 0.91, 0.83, 0.83; respectively). Construct validity was supported in 2 ways. The PediEAT correlated with the Mealtime Behavior Questionnaire (r = 0.77, P < 0.001) and total score and subscale scores were significantly different between children with and without diagnosed feeding problem (P < 0.001). Temporal stability was demonstrated through test-retest reliability (r = 0.95, P < 0.001).


Strong psychometric properties support the use of the PediEAT in research and clinical practice.

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