Date of Award


Author's School

College of Arts & Sciences

Author's Program


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (A.B.)




Picky eating is an under-researched behavior in children. The current study aims to assess what behaviors correlate with picky eating to better understand potential risk factors for Anorexia Nervosa. 111 children were evaluated at 5 and 6 years old, and a subset was evaluated again at 7 and 8 years old (n=36). Executive function and IQ were evaluated using parent reports and behavioral measures at baseline. Picky eating was reported by a parent questionnaire. Results showed deficits in shifting to be a predictor of higher picky eating behaviors at ages 5-6 years. Additionally, children who were reported extremely picky eaters at baseline made fewer errors in executive function conditions in Shape School. Furthermore, correlations showed picky eating at baseline was a strong predictor of picky eating at Time 2. Since children are currently at ages 7 and 8, reports of Anorexia Nervosa have not been obtained. The current study evaluated pre-established deficits for AN while finding some better and worse outcomes for picky eaters, which furthers the limited research on picky eating.


Dr. Kirsten Gilbert

Additional Advisors

Joan Luby