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J Pediatr Psychol. 2014 Nov-Dec;39(10):1161-74. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsu050. Epub 2014 Jul 12.

The influence of parenting on early childhood health and health care utilization.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Center for Research in Human Development, Concordia University Lisa.Serbin@Concordia.CA.
2
Department of Psychology, Center for Research in Human Development, Concordia University.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study examined whether parenting, specifically parental support, structure, and behavioral control, predicted early childhood health care use and moderated the negative effects of socioeconomic disadvantage.

METHODS:

A sample of 250 parent-child dyads from a longitudinal intergenerational research program participated.

RESULTS:

Greater parental support was associated with increased rates of nonemergency care and a higher ratio of outpatient to emergency room (ER) services, a pattern reflecting better health and service use. Support also moderated the negative effects of disadvantaged family background. Greater behavioral control by parents predicted lower rates of both nonemergency care and ER visits. Structured parenting and behavioral control were associated with lower rates of respiratory illness.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study highlights the importance of considering parenting practices when examining variations in early childhood health and health care, and the relevance of parental behavior in designing interventions for high-risk populations.

KEYWORDS:

early health care; parenting; socioeconomic disadvantage

PMID:
25016605
PMCID:
PMC4201764
DOI:
10.1093/jpepsy/jsu050
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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