Parental management of fear in chronically ill and healthy children

Michael J. Dolgin, Sean Phipps, Eve Harow, Lonnie K. Zeltzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to determine the impact of children's health status on parental management of fear and avoidance, as well as the relationship between parenting strategies and children's fear and anxiety levels. Thirty-one children with a chronic life-threatening illness, 30 children with chronic non-life-threat-ening conditions, and 28 healthy children, and their mothers, were studied Children's health status, by diagnosis, was not a significant determinant of maternal fear-management strategies. For chronically ill children, clinical health status, in terms of illness course, prognosis, physical impairment, and time since diagnosis were related to maternal parenting strategies and to children's levels of medically related fears. For the sample as a whole, maternal fear-management strategies were related to child sex, socioeconomic status, and mothers' trait anxiety. These results are discussed in terms the interactive effects of child characteristics, health status, fear/anxiety, and parenting strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-744
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Chronic illness
  • Fears
  • Parenting strategies


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