Relationship of parental psychological distress to consequences of chronic health conditions in children

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Objective: To assess whether parents' self-reported psychological distress was related to consequences of chronic health conditions in their children as reflected by three domains: functional limitations, reliance on compensatory mechanisms, and service use above routine care. Methods: We used telephone survey data on children's health and parents' psychiatric symptoms from an inner-city community sample (n = 380) and a population-based national sample (n = 398). Results: In the national sample, parents of children with functional limitations were more distressed than parents whose children experienced other types of condition consequences or none. In the inner-city sample, presence of a health condition was associated with greater parental distress, but there were no significant effects by consequence type. Conclusions: Research needs to determine if parents of children with functional limitations represent a high-risk group and to identify the factors associated with their elevated distress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 1998



  • Childhood chronic illness
  • Porental psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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