A complex dynamical systems approach to the development of feeding problems in early childhood

Marijn van Dijk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
172 Downloads (Pure)


Though it is commonly agreed upon that the development of feeding problems in early childhood is a complex process, much of the research on these problems has a component-oriented focus, and very little attention is paid to the mechanisms that lead to these kinds of problems in individual children. The aim of this theoretical paper is to interpret the development of feeding problems in early childhood from a complex dynamical systems viewpoint. In addition to its focus on self-organization and nonlinearity, this approach defines several central properties of development: soft-assembly, embodiment, iterativity, the emergence of higher-order properties, and intra-individual variability. In this paper, I argue that each of these properties is highly relevant for understanding feeding problems and discuss the implications of this for both clinical practice and research purposes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104982
Number of pages14
Early online date2020
Publication statusPublished - 1-Feb-2021


  • Feeding problems, Eating disorder, Early childhood, Complex dynamical systems, Complexity

Cite this