Developmental and Behavior Problems Predict Parenting Stress in Young Children With Global Delay

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To identify parent-reported symptoms that predict parenting stress in preschoolers with global developmental delay, 201 parents/guardians of 142 boys and 59 girls with global delay, mean age 39.1 months (range, 18 to 63 months) were studied retrospectively. Parents completed the following: (a) a semistructured interview; (b) the Child Development Inventory, (c) Child Behavior Checklist 1½-5, and the (d) Parenting Stress Index-Short Form. Forty-two percent of parents described clinically significant parenting stress (≥ 85th percentile). The Parenting Stress Index-Short Form subscales Difficult Child and Parent–Child Dysfunctional Interactions were elevated. Parental stress increased with higher gross motor development and decreased as social and fine-motor ratios increased. Furthermore, stress increased when parents reported higher levels on the Emotionally Reactive and Withdrawn scale scores and when parents reported Pervasive Developmental and Oppositional Defiant Problems. In mobile children with global delay, behavior problems predict parenting stress.

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