Impact of Uncertainty Associated With a Child's Chronic Health Condition on Parents' Health

Kristen E. Holm, Joan M. Patterson, Martha A Rueter, Frederick Wamboldt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors investigated whether uncertainty about the impact of children's chronic health conditions on their daily lives leads to changes in mothers' and fathers' mental and physical health. Three waves of data were collected over 3 years from parents of 228 children with chronic health conditions. Parents reported their level of uncertainty about how the child's health condition affected the child's daily life and measures of their own mental and physical health at each wave of data collection. Results of structural equation models indicate that among mothers, more illness-related uncertainty was associated with a subsequent increase in psychological symptoms relative to other mothers in the study. Psychological symptoms, in turn, were associated with a subsequent increase in physical symptoms among mothers. Uncertainty did not affect fathers' health. Illness-related uncertainty may be a risk factor for psychological and physical symptoms in mothers of children with chronic health conditions. As such, interventions that address uncertainty related to the child's chronic health condition may improve psychological and physical well-being of mothers of children with chronic health conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)282-295
Number of pages14
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2008

Keywords

  • childhood chronic health conditions
  • parent adjustment
  • uncertainty

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