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Child health status as a correlate of child behavioural outcomes : the mediating effect of parenting style Hochbaum, Christine Valerie


The purpose of this investigation is to test the mediational effect of parenting style on the association between child health status and child behavioural outcomes in children. Using cross-sectional data of children 4 and 5 years old from National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (NLSCY) Cycle 4 2000-2001 the paper explores the degree to which child health status is related to child behavioural outcomes. In addition, the present study investigates the extent to which child health status is linked to parenting style. Another aim of this study is to explore the association between parenting style and child behavioural outcomes. Child outcome measures assessed in this study include: hyperactivity-inattention, emotional-disorder anxiety, conduct disorder — physical aggression, and indirect aggression. Child health status is assessed using the Health Utility Index Mark 3. The Health Utility Index gives a description of an individual's overall functional health, founded on eight attributes that include: vision, hearing, speech, mobility, dexterity, cognition, emotion, pain and discomfort. Parenting style is measured using several parenting scales that consist of: positive interaction, hostile/ineffective parenting, consistent parenting, and rational (punitive/aversive) parenting. Statistical analysis was conducted using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) and logistic regression to test the conceptual model and the significance of relationships between the variables of interest. There was partial support for the mediational model of parenting style on the association between child health status and children behavioural outcomes. Specifically, both ineffective and rational parenting each showed a mediational effect. Child health status and child behavioural outcomes were found to have a strong relationship to each other. However, ineffective parenting was more strongly related to child behavoiural outcomes than child health status. This suggests that children that are exposed to ineffective parenting are at greater risk for developing behavioural difficulties than children receiving other forms of parenting. Moreover, children who receive this type of parenting and have poorer health are at even greater risk for developing these behavioural problems. However, these conclusions are tentative as the directionality of these relationships is uncertain because of the cross-section design of this study.

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