Support and negativity in interpersonal relationships impact caregivers’ quality of life in pediatric food allergy

Natalie A. Williams, Maren Hankey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: This study examined interpersonal relationship processes as they relate to health-related quality of life (HRQL) in caregivers of food-allergic children. Research questions explored the relative contributions of social support and social negativity to caregivers’ adaptation as well as mechanisms of moderation, mediation, and moderated mediation through which these influences affect the association of time since children’s food allergy diagnosis to caregivers’ HRQL. Methods: Caregivers (N = 299) of food-allergic children were recruited from parent groups associated with a food allergy nonprofit organization. Participants completed web-based questionnaires assessing demographics and child allergy characteristics, the extent of support and negativity experienced in their social relationships related caregiving, and their HRQL. Multiple regression analyses were used to examine relations among time since diagnosis, interpersonal relationship processes, and caregiver HRQL. Results: Social negativity was directly related to diminished caregiver HRQL and was a stronger predictor of caregiver HRQL than social support. The effect of time since diagnosis on caregiver HRQL was indirect through social support, and this mediating effect did not depend on caregivers’ experience of social negativity. Conclusions: Interpersonal relationship processes appear influential in the adaptation of caregivers in the context of pediatric food allergy. Psychosocial interventions targeting support and negativity in caregivers’ social relationships may help improve their HRQL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1369-1378
Number of pages10
JournalQuality of Life Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 14 2015


  • Caregivers
  • Children
  • Food allergy
  • Quality of life
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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