Objective: To examine whether sociodemographic and condition-related characteristics are associated with conduct problems in children with chronic health conditions. Design: Cross-sectional survey. Participants: Mothers of children 5 to 8 years old with diverse chronic health conditions who received care at 2 large urban medical centers. Measures: Mothers responded to a face- to-face structured interview that included the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory, the Psychiatric Symptom Index, and questions about sociodemographic and health condition-related characteristics. Results: Of the 356 children assessed, 138 (38.8%) had conduct problems as defined by criteria of the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory. In logistic regression analyses, conduct problems were associated with younger child age, mother having a husband or partner unrelated to her child, poorer perceived prognosis, child having a learning disability, and maternal self-report of high emotional distress on the Psychiatric Symptom Index. Conduct problems were not related to child sex, maternal ethnicity or education, family receiving welfare, or a wide range of condition-related factors, including age at diagnosis, visibility to others, need to watch for sudden changes, presence of mobility or sensory-communication problems, using medication or equipment, annual hospitalizations, or physician visits. Conclusions: Conduct problems in children with chronic health conditions appear to be associated more closely with their sociodemographic and family characteristics than with condition-related risk factors. Additional research remains to be done on the ways that maternal adjustment, diagnosis-specific condition characteristics, and other risk factors influence children's behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health