See list of abbreviations at end of paper.
Paternal correlates of cognitive and behavioral functioning in children with myelomeningocele
Version of Record online: 20 AUG 2008
Copyright © 2008 Mac Keith Press
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 50, Issue 11, pages 864–869, November 2008
How to Cite
Wohlfeiler, M. M., Macias, M. M. and Saylor, C. F. (2008), Paternal correlates of cognitive and behavioral functioning in children with myelomeningocele. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 50: 864–869. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2008.03070.x
Published online August 20 2008
- Issue online: 15 OCT 2008
- Version of Record online: 20 AUG 2008
- Accepted for publication 3rd January 2008.
This study examined paternal correlates of the cognitive and behavioral functioning of children with myelomeningocele, when controlling for maternal and biological/child correlates as possible sources of variance. Participants were 48 parent dyads of children with myelomeningocele (21 males, 27 females) between the ages of 4 and 12 years (mean 8y, 2mo, SD 2y 3mo). Lesion levels of participants ranged from the thoracic to sacral (thoracic–L3: n=15; L4–L5: n=15; sacral or lipomeningocele: n=18), of whom 38 had been shunted for hydrocephalus. Half of the participants (n=24) were community ambulators. Potential predictors of cognitive and behavioral functioning included paternal and maternal parenting stress, as assessed by the Parenting Stress Index – Short Form paternal, and maternal perceptions of support and resources, as assessed by the Family Resource Scale and the Family Support Scale, and child medical severity. Paternal variables significantly correlated with behavioral functioning but not with cognitive functioning. Regression analyses revealed that paternal personal distress and maternal perceived adequacy of social support accounted for significant variance in overall child behavioral functioning. Only child medical severity and annual household income explained significant variance in overall child cognitive functioning. These findings add to the growing body of theory and research documenting that fathers make unique and significant contributions to child adjustment in children with myelomeningocele. Both fathers and mothers need to be considered in interventions supporting development and adjustment of children with myelomeningocele and their families.