Chronic childhood health conditions: child adjustment, parenting and parent support needs

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Chronic childhood health conditions are increasingly common and impact not only on the affected children but their siblings, parents, families, and communities. Illness management often includes multiple health interventions that require the involvement of the child, but are the responsibility of the parent. Parents play a key role in the management of childhood chronic illness, yet existing interventions are largely limited to a medical educational model which has shown limited success in improving health and wellbeing outcomes. Child and parent adjustment outcomes are rarely examined, although it is well known that stress is a common part of the experience of parenting a child with a
chronic illness. Likewise children with a chronic health condition often experience higher levels of emotional and behavioural problems. Interventions designed to assist parents in their role and to enhance child health are sorely needed and this symposium aims to inform the development and tailoring of such interventions. The symposium will begin with a presentation examining the links between child behavioural difficulties in the context of type 1 diabetes in order to identify some of the key modifiable targets for intervention. Specifically, the connections between child behaviour, parenting and parenting adjustment and self-efficacy will be explored. The second presentation will focus on a mixed-methods needs analysis conducted with parents of children with a chronic health condition and health professionals who work with children and their parents. The parents’ needs and preferences for parenting support and their
willingness/readiness to participate in parenting support programmes, along with barriers and facilitators to engagement in such programmes will be described. In addition, potential workplace barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a parenting support programmes will be explored. The
third presentation will focus on the interface between child wellbeing, parenting and the workplace. Differences between parents of children with a chronic illness and parents of healthy children will be explored focusing on work-family/family-work conflict, parenting behaviours and quality of life. Finally, our discussant will aim to integrate key themes and potential learnings from these three presentations for the development and delivery of parenting interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • chronic childhood health conditions
  • child adjustment
  • parenting
  • parent support needs


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