‘The apple doesn't fall far from the tree’: the role of parents in chronic disease self-management

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Medical nonadherence has been termed the “Achilles' heel of modern healthcare.” In considering the need to improve medical adherence among chronically ill children, it is necessary to understand parent adherence. Parents have long been acknowledged to be the primary socialization agents in children's development across the various domains of functioning. Through communication of their beliefs, the behavior they model, and direct training, parents exert a powerful influence on the development of children's beliefs and behavior. Adherence may be similarly conceptualized as a socialization process, in which parents influence the development of children's beliefs and behavior regarding their eventual disease self-management. Given this perspective, it is important for clinicians to emphasize the need for parental adherence to a child's treatment regimen. An increased focus on parental adherence will require an investment of time and effort that will pay dividends in the long term.

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