Purpose: Developmental delays are among the major morbidities of children with complex congenital heart disease. Parents of infants with complex congenital heart disease experience increased parenting stress levels, which can interfere with parenting processes during infancy. The current study examined associations between infant development and parenting stress in infants with complex congenital heart disease at six and twelve months of age. Design and methods: A secondary analysis of data examined cross-sectional associations between infant's mental and psychomotor development and parenting stress, using general linear regression modeling (N = 75). Data were obtained from a larger prospective cohort study. Results: Mental development was negatively associated with the Parent Domain at six months, and with the Parent Domain and Total Stress at twelve months. Psychomotor development was not significantly associated with parenting stress at six and twelve months. Conclusions: Parenting stress in parents of infant with complex congenital heart disease may be among the factors shaping the parent–child relationship during the first year of life, which plays an important role in infant development. A potential bidirectional relationship between parenting stress and infant development may fit a transactional model representing the phenomena. Practice Implications. Family interventions aiming to reshape illness perceptions may promote parental adaptive coping and productive parenting practices in populations at risk.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health R01 NR002093.
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