Research Invitation: Better understanding of problematic eating in vulnerable youth

Mounting evidence suggests that children and young people living in out-of-home care (OoHC) are at increased risk of problematic eating behaviours (i.e., emotional eating, compulsive eating, overeating, and binge eating, stealing or hoarding food). A recent study found nearly a quarter (22.1%) of young people living in residential care in Victoria presented with clinically significant eating problems. Greater attention to young people’s eating behaviours by the people responsible for their care is, therefore, not only warranted but needed urgently. The aim of this study is to better understand the prevalence of problematic eating amongst young people living in OoHC. The findings of this study will be used to develop appropriate interventions specifically for the unique context of OoHC.


We would like to invite you to take part in an interview to:

(1) better understand problematic eating behaviours of the young people in your care;

(2) how problematic eating behaviours are managed (e.g., is there training available?);

and (3) whether there are any resources in place to support carers in identifying and addressing problematic eating behaviours.


The interview will take 30-60 minutes and will be audio-taped.

Additionally, you will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire about the prevalence of problematic eating behaviours of the young people currently under your care, and household organisation of food. Completion of each questionnaire will take about 15-20 minutes.


Interview will be conducted either by phone or at held at Deakin University. Foster carers will be given a $30 Coles/Myer voucher to thank them for their time.


Participation is voluntary - If you do not wish to take part you are not obliged to. Your decision whether to take part or not to take part, or to take part and then withdraw, will not affect your relationship with Deakin University in any way.


For more information about the project and consent form click here

If you are interested in participating or would like additional information about the project or have any questions, please contact Dr Rachael Cox in the School of Psychology, Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood, Victoria, 3125, on 9244 3041 or email: