This research study explored mothers' decision-making processes regarding health care for their children. Identifying how decisions are made by mothers about health care for their children will assist health care professionals to be appropriate advocates for mothers, to improve quality of life, and to contain costs of health care for children. A sample of 114 rural mothers (51 with one child, 63 with more than one child) completed questionnaires identifying demographics, social support, client and professional interaction elements, self-determinism, competence in problem-solving skills, and relationships to responses to health care scenarios. Qualitative data were also gathered by structured in-depth interviews of 7 subjects. ANOVA, correlations, and factor analysis were completed to analyze data. Most of the mothers' decisions were based on the perceived degree of seriousness, mother's degree of fear of the child's condition, attitude of the health care provider, previous experience with the situation, and social support for the mother. There were no significant differences in decision-making processes by first time mothers and by mothers with more than one child. Implications include teaching mothers assessment skills to identify serious versus nonserious situations and to utilize other social supports.