Parent–Child Behavioral Interactions During Pediatric Immunizations in a Latino Sample

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A number of studies have found that specific parent behaviors are strong predictors of child medical procedural distress or coping. These findings have informed treatment protocols to lower children’s distress during invasive medical events. However, the vast majority of this research has been conducted on predominately North American, English-speaking, Caucasian samples. One growing population that faces health care disparities is Latinos living in the United States. The purpose of this study was to explore the types and frequencies of parent and child behavior, as well as the association between parent behavior and child distress and coping in a sample of Spanish-speaking Latino American parent–child dyads. Nineteen 4- to 6-year-old Latino children receiving routine immunizations and their parents were video recorded, and behaviors were coded with commonly used schemes. The findings suggest that there may be differences in Latino parent and child behavior when compared to the extant—predominately English-speaking, Caucasian North American—literature. This study provides an initial examination of how cultural constructs may relate to parent–child behavior in Spanish-speaking Latino families in the United States. Future research is warranted as findings can inform culturally sensitive clinical practice.

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