Relevance of the quality of partner relationships and maternal health to early child wellness

Pamela J. Surkan, Tonia Poteat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objective: To examine the relationship between child health and maternal relationship quality with a spouse/partner, self-rated health, depressive symptoms, and social support. Methods: In a crosssectional study, structured interviews were completed with 595 mothers in 2002. Women were recruited from a random sample of households in low-income communities of Teresina, Piauí. Child health status was assessed with the Eisen Infant Health Rating Scale and a composite index of child fever, worms, or diarrhea in the past 2 weeks. Exposure variables included maternal relationship quality, self-rated health, depressive symptoms, and social support. Analyses included multivariable linear and logistic regression modeling, controlling for sociodemographics. Results: Both a high-quality partner relationship and good/excellent maternal self-rated health were significantly associated with higher scores on the Eisen Infant Health Rating Scale (â = 0.9; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.3-1.4 and β = 1.1; 95% CI: 0.7-1.6, respectively). Every 5-point increase in depressive symptoms was negatively associated with infant health scores (β = -0.3; 95% CI: -0.4 to -0.1) and with recent child wellness (lack of fever, diarrhea, or worms) (odds ratio = 0.9 95%; CI: 0.8-1.0). Conclusion: Maternal factors, such as partner relationship quality and health status, may be important to child health and should be considered for inclusion in confirmatory longitudinal studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-300
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011

Keywords

  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Depressive symptoms
  • Developing countries
  • Family relations
  • Mother-child relations
  • Mothers
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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