The Contributions of Child Behavioral Functioning and Parent Distress to Family Functioning in Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease

  • Shannon Odell
  • Emily Sander
  • Lee A. Denson
  • Robert N. Baldassano
  • Kevin A. Hommel


The objective of this study was to examine the relative contributions of both parental and adolescent functioning to family functioning in adolescent patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and their families. Participants were 45 adolescents (27 male, 18 female) 13–17 years old (M = 15.41 years, SD = 1.32) with IBD and their parents. Families completed measures of patient behavioral functioning and depression, parent distress and family functioning. Disease severity assessments were completed via data provided by patients’ gastroenterologists. Results indicated that parent-reported patient behavioral problems accounted for a significant 26% of variance in family functioning. Post-hoc analysis revealed that externalizing behavior problems accounted for the majority of this variance compared to internalizing behavior problems. These results suggest that externalizing problems may have a more significant impact on these families than previous research indicates. Moreover, externalizing behaviors may significantly impact family adaptation and should be taken into consideration during routine clinical care. Further research is needed to replicate and expand upon these findings.


Inflammatory bowel disease Family functioning Behavior Distress Internalizing Externalizing 



Research supported in part by NIDDK K23 DK079037, PHS Grant P30 DK 078392, Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals, Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., USPHS Grant #M01 RR 08084 from the General Clinical Research Centers Program, National Center for Research Resources, NIH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shannon Odell
    • 1
  • Emily Sander
    • 1
  • Lee A. Denson
    • 2
    • 3
  • Robert N. Baldassano
    • 4
    • 5
  • Kevin A. Hommel
    • 3
    • 6
  1. 1.Xavier UniversityCincinnatiUSA
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and NutritionCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA
  3. 3.University of Cincinnati College of MedicineCincinnatiUSA
  4. 4.Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.University of Pennsylvania School of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  6. 6.Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical PsychologyCincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical CenterCincinnatiUSA

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