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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2002 Oct;23(5):314-21.

Influence of parental stress and social support on the behavioral adjustment of children with transposition of the great arteries.

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Department of Cardiac Surgery, Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The joint role of parent stress and social support in the emotional adjustment of children was examined prospectively in a group of children with d-transposition of the great arteries (d-TGA). Questionnaires on parent perceptions of stress and social support were administered when children were 1 and 4 years of age (n = 143-153). Parent ratings of child behavior problems were collected at 4 years (n = 152). The findings indicate a favorable outcome for parents and children with congenital heart disease (CHD). Compared with normative samples, parents experienced less stress and more social support, and they rated children as showing fewer behavior problems. Parents with more stress at both ages reported more behavior problems. Families with less social support reported more stress at both 1 and 4 years. Social support, however, did not moderate the relationship between stress and child behavior problems. Early detection of distressed families may assist in alleviating stress and reducing behavior problems.

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