The effect of parental involvement on problematic social behaviors among school-age children in Kentucky.

Research paper by Joyce M JM Robl, Tracey D TD Jewell, Sarojini S Kanotra

Indexed on: 20 Nov '12Published on: 20 Nov '12Published in: Maternal and child health journal


This study examines the associations among parental active involvement and healthy role modeling behavior with social behavior among children in Kentucky and the nation. Data from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health was used, limited to children 6-17 years old. The dependent variable was a composite measure of problematic social behavior. Independent variables included parental involvement, parental healthy role modeling, and demographic variables. Chi square tests of independence were completed for bivariate analyses and multivariable logistic regression models were developed for Kentucky and the nation. The prevalence of problematic social behaviors in children was 10.4 % in Kentucky and 8.8 % in the nation. The parents of children in Kentucky who often exhibited problematic social behavior reported poor parent-child communication (50.4 %), not coping well with parenthood (56.5 %), parental aggravation (48.3 %), and less emotional help with parenting (9.1 %). The factor with the largest magnitude of association in Kentucky (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 6.2; 95 % confidence interval [CI]: 1.6, 24.5) and the nation (AOR = 4.8; 95 % CI: 3.3, 7.0) was observed for whether or not the parent communicated well with the child. Additional factors associated with problematic social behavior among children in Kentucky were living in a single parent, mother-led household, and having a parent with fair or poor mental health. Public health programs that target factors addressing the parent-child dyad, parent-child communication, and model healthy relationships may reduce the occurrence of problematic social behavior in 6-17-year-old children in Kentucky.