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Child Care Health Dev. 2007 Jul;33(4):472-81.

Validation of a measure of maternal perception of the child's health status.

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Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and Interdisciplinary Health Research Group, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada.



The main objective of this population-based and cross-sectional study was to determine the validity of maternal perception as an indicator of the 17-month-old child's health status.


Data from this study came from the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development (QLSCD, Round 1999) which was based on a representative sample of babies born in Québec in 1997 and 1998. The analyses were based on the 2045 children aged 17 months who participated in the survey in 1999. Maternal perception of the child's health status was examined as a function of a series of children's health indicators, namely the presence of acute health problems (last 3 months), asthma attacks since birth, presence of chronic problem and hospitalizations during the previous 12 months. Confounding influences of both maternal and child-related characteristics were controlled in the analyses.


Sequential logistic regressions indicated that maternal perception was strongly associated with the different health indicators even after controlling for confounding variables. However, a significant interaction between the child's gender and the presence of chronic health problems was observed. The association between maternal perception of the child's health and the presence of chronic health problems was stronger for boys than for girls.


The analyses confirm that the mother's perception of the health status of her 17-month-old child corresponds with the actual health status of the child as reflected by the presence or absence of selected health problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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