Little is known regarding factors that influence parenting behaviors specific to the management of food allergies in elementary school-aged children. The aim of this study was to identify child characteristics and parent psychosocial factors associated with food allergy-related parenting practices. Participants included 182 parents of food allergic children aged between 5 and 11 years recruited from parent support groups. Data were collected using web-based questionnaires. Multiple regression analyses were conducted to identify predictors of food allergy-related parenting practices. Predictor variables examined included child demographic and allergy characteristics, parent perceived social support, and parenting self-efficacy (ie, parental beliefs specific to their ability to influence their child's behavior and development). The interaction between social support and parenting self-efficacy was examined to test for moderation. Having an older child and more social support were associated with significantly less parental monitoring (b = -0.076 and -0.013, P < 0.001), but more support for children's self-management of their food intake (b = 0.087 and 0.015, P < 0.001) and more use of strategies that attempt to teach children how to handle allergic exposures (b = 0.290 and 0.028, P < 0.05). Higher levels of parenting self-efficacy were associated with more support for children's self-management of food intake (b = 0.031, P < 0.001). Parenting self-efficacy was not a significant moderator of the effects of social support on parenting practices. Social support and parenting self-efficacy may influence parenting practices in families with food allergic children and merit consideration in psychosocial interventions addressing allergy-related parenting practices.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine