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J Pediatr Psychol. 1994 Jun;19(3):369-81.

The impact of parental trait anxiety on the utilization of health care services in infancy: a prospective study.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511.

Abstract

Used a prospective approach to examine the relation of prenatal parental anxiety to pediatric utilization in the first year. 31 firstborn children and their parents participated in the study. These families were primarily Caucasian, college-educated, middle-class couples who had been married an average of 4.3 years at the prenatal time period. They were first seen in their home during the second trimester of pregnancy. At that time, each parent independently completed the Life Events Survey and the Speilberger Trait Anxiety Inventory. At 12 months, each parent completed the Marital Relationship Inventory. Data on pediatric services utilization were derived from complete medical records when the child reached 12 months of age. Frequency counts for unscheduled acute care and well baby care visits were used as the primary dependent variables. As expected, prenatal reports of high maternal anxiety predicted an increased incidence of unscheduled acute care visits in the infancy period. The findings implicate physiological mechanisms and extend earlier work on psychosocial influences of pediatric services utilization to the infancy period, a time when children experience their greatest incidence of illness and patterns of medical care use become established.

PMID:
8071800
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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