Investigating parenting stress across pediatric health conditions - A systematic review

Nadya Golfenshtein, Einav Srulovici, Barbara Medoff-Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The stress parenting responsibilities place on parents increases in situations involving pediatric illness, and therefore can potentially interfere with the normal family life. The present review examines sources of parenting stress across a wide spectrum of illnesses, using three illness groups as exemplars: Congenital heart disease, pediatric cancer, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. A systematic review of the literature using PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, and PsycINFO databases yielded 66 observational studies investigating sources of parenting stress in parents of young children with congenital heart defects, cancer, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Quality assessment, using the STROBE and COREQ quality indexes, was further conducted for the included studies. Stressors were categorized, and then analyzed in light of the diagnostic characteristics of the populations in focus. Findings indicate that parents across all illness groups experience increased levels of parenting stress. Several categories were identified in accordance to the parenting stress model as follows: illness-related factors, parental factors, child characteristics, familial factors, and social factors. Further analysis has revealed distinct parental concerns within the groups deriving from the diagnostics, care demands, or social responses specific to each group. Theoretical and practical implications for Family-Systems Nursing Practice were further discussed. Future research and assessment of parenting stress should account for the illness course and address family needs within the specific context of the illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-79
Number of pages39
JournalComprehensive Child and Adolescent Nursing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.


  • Observational studies
  • parenting stress
  • pediatric health conditions
  • systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics


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