Reuters Health News - Coping style may contribute to stress in parents of preemies

Press/Media: Research


This news article was based on an international collaboration with researchers from the University of British Columbia and was the result of a publication in Archives of Disease in Childhood on which I was first author. This publication will be submitted to REF 2021.

Period20 Mar 2015

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleCoping style may contribute to stress in parents of preemies
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletReuters Health News
    Media typeWeb
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    DescriptionObjective To examine factors which predict parenting
    stress in a longitudinal cohort of children born very
    preterm, and seen at age 7 years.
    Methods We recruited 100 very preterm (≤32 weeks
    gestational age) child-parent dyads and a control group
    of 50 term-born dyads born between 2001 and 2004
    with follow-up at 7 years. Parents completed the
    Parenting Stress Index, Ways of Coping Questionnaire,
    Child Behaviour Check List, Beck Depression Inventory
    and the State Trait Anxiety Inventory questionnaires.
    Child IQ was assessed using the Wechsler Intelligence
    Results After controlling for maternal education,
    parents of preterm children (95% CI 111.1 to 121.4)
    scored higher (p=0.027) on the Parenting Stress Index
    than term-born controls (95% CI 97.8 to 113.2).
    Regression analyses showed that child externalising
    behaviour, sex and parent escape/avoidance coping style,
    predicted higher parenting stress in the preterm group.
    Parents of preterm girls expressed higher levels of stress
    than those of boys.
    Conclusions Maladaptive coping strategies contribute
    to greater stress in parents of very preterm children. Our
    findings suggest that these parents need support for
    many years after birth of a very preterm infant.
    PersonsMark Linden