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Title page for ETD etd-08232018-110252

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Yarboi, Janet M.
URN etd-08232018-110252
Title The Role of Parent Stress and Parenting Behaviors in Cognitive Function in Children with Sickle Cell Disease
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bruce Compas, Ph.D. Committee Chair
Megan Saylor, Ph.D. Committee Member
Michael DeBaun, M.D., M.P.H. Committee Member
Sarah Jaser, Ph.D. Committee Member
Sohee Park, Ph.D. Committee Member
  • responsive parenting
  • social-environmental stress
  • parent-child interactions
  • chronic illness
  • pediatric psychology
Date of Defense 2017-05-24
Availability restrictone
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a chronic, life-threatening condition that affects more than one every 400 African American newborns. In addition to being at greater risk for cognitive impairment, children with SCD are also more likely to come from families and households facing considerable sociodemographic disadvantage. However, limited research has explored the role of parent characteristics in understanding the underlying cause of cognitive difficulties in this population. The aim of the present study was to examine the relationship between sociodemographic status, disease severity and caregivers’ perceived stress and parenting behaviors and determine if and how these factors account for differences in cognitive functioning in children with SCD. Forty-eight children completed cognitive assessments and caregivers provided self-reports of general and disease-related stress. Parent-child dyads completed a brief puzzle task and observed parenting was quantified using two rigorous coding systems. Results showed that lower levels of parent stress were related to some indicators of responsive parenting and provided partial support for the relationship between responsive parenting and cognitive function. A series of linear regression analyses showed that disease-related parent stress and parental use of expansive language significantly predicted cognitive ability in children with SCD. Implications of these findings and future directions are discussed.
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