Caregiver Demand and Parent Distress in Juvenile Rheumatic Disease: The Mediating Effect of Parent Attitude Toward Illness


Parents of youth with juvenile rheumatic diseases (JRD) often take on illness management responsibilities that can become burdensome, potentially resulting in poor parent adjustment outcomes. However, not all caregivers will experience increased distress as a result of variability in stress appraisals. The current study examined the role of parent illness attitudes in the relation between perceived caregiver demand and parental distress. Youth (N = 70) ages 7–18 years diagnosed with a JRD and their parents were recruited from a pediatric rheumatology clinic. Parents completed measures of caregiver demand, parental distress, and illness attitudes. Hierarchical regression revealed a relationship between caregiver demand and parental distress. A significant relationship was also found between caregiver demand and parent illness attitudes, as well as parent illness attitudes and parental distress. Thus, parent illness attitudes mediated the relationship between caregiver demand and parental distress. Techniques aimed at altering negative illness attitudes may help parents cope with their caregiving responsibilities.

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Ryan, J.L., Mullins, L.L., Ramsey, R.R. et al. Caregiver Demand and Parent Distress in Juvenile Rheumatic Disease: The Mediating Effect of Parent Attitude Toward Illness. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 20, 351–360 (2013) doi:10.1007/s10880-013-9365-0

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  • Attitude toward illness
  • Caregiver demand
  • Parent distress
  • Juvenile rheumatic disease