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Original article
Parental characteristics and functional constipation in children: a cross-sectional cohort study
  1. Babette Peeters1,
  2. Mana H Vriesman1,
  3. Ilan J N Koppen1,
  4. Marieke van Dijk2,
  5. Martha A Grootenhuis3,
  6. Carlo Di Lorenzo4,
  7. Marc A Benninga1
  1. 1 Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Emma Children’s Hospital/Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Psychology, Emma Children’s Hospital/Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Psychosocial Department, Emma Children’s Hospital/Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands
  4. 4 Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mana H Vriesman; m.h.vriesman{at}amc.uva.nl

Abstract

Objective To evaluate personality, psychological health, physical health and childrearing practices in mothers and fathers of children with functional constipation (FC) compared with mothers and fathers of healthy controls.

Design Cross-sectional cohort study.

Setting Outpatient paediatric gastroenterology clinic at a tertiary hospital in the Netherlands.

Patients Parents of children (4–16 years) presenting with FC were included between January 2010 and August 2012. Participating parents were asked to recruit parents of another child of the same age without FC as their own controls. Data of 116 mothers and 115 fathers of 127 children with FC, and 84 mothers and 73 fathers of 91 children without FC were collected.

Main outcome measures Parental characteristics were evaluated by using the NEO Five-Factor Inventory to assess personality, the Brief Symptom Inventory and Physical Symptom Checklist to assess psychological and physical health and the Ghent Parental Behavior Scale to assess childrearing practices.

Results Mothers of constipated children had significant higher scores on the neuroticism personality factor and reported higher rates of overall psychological distress and depression. Both mothers and fathers of children with FC reported significant more physical symptoms than parents of children without FC. Mothers of children with FC showed more positive childrearing practices compared with controls.

Conclusions Personality, psychological and physical health, and childrearing practices differ significantly between parents of children with FC and parents of control subjects. Parental factors should be taken into account when evaluating children with FC.

  • gastroenterology

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Footnotes

  • Contributors BP, conceptualised the study, collected data, performed data analyses, drafted the initial manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. MHV, interpreted data, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. IJNK, interpreted data, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. MvD, participated in the design of the study, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. MAG, participated in the design of the study, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. CDL, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted. MAB, conceptualised the study, critically reviewed and revised the manuscript and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

  • Ethics approval Local Medical Ethics Committee of the Academic Medical Center.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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