School of Nursing
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Research interests & goals:
Eric Hodges is an Assistant Professor in the Family Health Division of the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Hodges’ research interest centers on feeding responsiveness between the primary caregiver (usually the mother) and child during infancy and toddlerhood and the role feeding interactions play in the child’s developing self-regulation of eating and subsequent weight status. He has expertise in behavioral coding of parent-child interactions from infancy through toddlerhood. Currently, Dr. Hodges is PI of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar grant involving a subsample of first-time African-American mother-infant pairs followed from 3-18 months of age. This study aims to explore longitudinally whether there is a relationship between maternal feeding responsiveness from infancy through early childhood and child anthropometric status at age 4-6 years among African-American mother-child dyads. A mixed methods approach involving longitudinal growth curve modeling, mediation and moderation analyses, cluster analysis, and qualitative analysis is planned to address study aims. Dr. Hodges is also PI of a NC TraCS pilot grant which aims to describe and compare levels of agreement among research measurements of fat mass from DXA, air displacement plethysmography (ADP) , and readily available clinical measures of fat mass from skinfold measurements among 4-6 year old African-American children. He has recently been awarded a UNC Junior Faculty Development Award for a study which aims to distinguish patterns of maternal feeding responsiveness among three groups of African-American mother-infant pairs followed from 3-18 months of age groups based on three infant weight-for-length growth trajectories: 1) those starting below the 85th percentile and eventually going and staying above, 2) those starting above the 85th percentile and eventually going and staying below, and 3) those staying between the 30th and 70th percentiles at all observations.