Objective: Parents of infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) experience increased parenting stress levels, potentially interfering with parenting practices and bear adverse family outcomes. Condition severity has been linked to parenting stress. The current study aimed to explore parenting stress trajectories over infancy in parents of infants with complex CHD, and to compare them by post-operative cardiac physiology. Design: Data from a larger prospective cohort study was analyzed using longitudinal mixed-effects regression modeling. Setting: Cardiac intensive care unit and outpatient clinic of a 480-bed children's hospital in the American North-Atlantic region. Participants: Parents of infants with complex CHD (n = 90). Measures: Parenting stress was measured via the parenting stress index-long form over four time points during infancy. Results: Parents of infants with a single-ventricle heart experienced a decrease in total stress over time. Parents of infants with a biventricular heart experienced a decrease in attachment-related stress, and an increase in stress related to infant temperament over time. Parenting stress trajectories over time significantly differed between groups on infant temperamental subscales. Conclusions: Findings highlight stressful and potentially risky periods for parents of infants with complex CHD, and introduce additional illness-related and psychosocial/familial aspects to the parenting stress concept. Early intervention may promote parental adaptive coping and productive parenting practices in this population.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
- congenital heart disease
- longitudinal design
- parenting stress
- uni-ventricular heart
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health