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ERIC Number: EJ891542
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1357-5279
Parental Burden in Families with a Young Food-Allergic Child
Komulainen, Kati
Child Care in Practice, v16 n3 p287-302 Jul 2010
The purpose of this study is to describe the parental burden in families with a food-allergic child under the age of four. This study was carried out using a descriptive correlational research design. The subjects of this study were 104 families with a young food-allergic child who observed a restricted diet. The majority of the children were allergic to many nutritionally central foods like milk and cereals. Data were collected in the spring of 2007 from both public and private sectors and from voluntary groups for parents of children with food allergies using questionnaires. The parental burden was measured using the Family Quality of Life--Parental Burden instrument. The collected data were analysed by descriptive statistics, including Pearson's correlations and t-tests for independent samples. Most of the respondents were married mothers educated to third-level degree. The mean age of the children was 1.94. The areas of family life most affected by the child's food allergy were meal preparation, social activities, and attending group activities such as daycare. Respondents stated that they had trouble with emotional issues, health and nutritional concerns, leaving the child in the care of others, and taking special precautions before going out. They were not very worried that the child would not recover from allergy symptoms or would not have a normal upbringing because of the allergy. They were also not worried about their child eating near other children or about their own ability to help if the child has an allergic reaction. The tearfulness of the child, sleep difficulties, and diarrhoea were significantly associated with parental burden. In addition, it seems that the number of suitable foods and the early manifestation of the symptoms are connected to parental burden. These findings underline the idea that some families with a young food-allergic child face an extremely high burden that should be addressed with different kinds of interventions. However, the negative effects of a child's food allergy are especially found outside the home. (Contains 4 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland