Mother-toddler interaction in a meal time

Noriko Toyama, Takashi Muto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the mother toddler interaction in a meal time at home. Subjects were 17 one and two year-old-toddlers and their mothers. The interactions during lunch time at home were twice videotaped a week apart. The results were as follows: (1) Mothers picked up more topics not relevant to eating itself as information to children who were older and more able to eat by themselves than the younger and less able children; also to older siblings than younger ones. (2) When children were eating, mothers would talk more about ‘taste’ and ‘tool’ and uttered more questions and praises to their children than when children would not be eating. (3) Only when the physiological function of the dining was satisfied, would the mothers spontaneously hold a conversation. (4) When children would not eat, mothers would try to clearly make the distinction between meal time and non-meal time. It was found in own studies that mothers seemed to try to corporate the physiological activity of ‘eating’ into a culturally determined script of ‘dining’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-404
Number of pages10
JournalThe Japanese Journal of Educational Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • cultural learning
  • meal time
  • mother-toddler interaction
  • ‘dining’ script

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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