Which African American mothers disclose psychosocial issues to their pediatric providers?

Leandra Godoy, Stephanie J. Mitchell, Kanya Shabazz, Lawrence S Wissow, Ivor B. Horn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objective To determine if parents' self-efficacy in communicating with their child's pediatrician is associated with African American mothers' disclosure of psychosocial concerns during pediatric primary care visits. Methods Self-identified African American mothers (n = 231) of children 2 to 5 years were recruited from 8 urban pediatric primary care practices in the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Visits were audiorecorded, and parents completed phone surveys within 24 hours. Maternal disclosure of psychosocial issues and self-efficacy in communicating with their child's provider were measured using the Roter Interactional Analysis System (RIAS) and the Perceived Efficacy in Patient-Physician Interactions (PEPPI), respectively. Results Thirty-two percent of mothers disclosed psychosocial issues. Mothers who disclosed were more likely to report maximum levels of self-efficacy in communicating with their child's provider compared to those who did not disclose (50% vs 35%; P =.02). During visits in which mothers disclosed psychosocial issues, providers were observed to provide more psychosocial information (mean 1.52 vs 1.08 utterances per minute, P =.002) and ask fewer medical questions (mean 1.76 vs 1.99 utterances per minute, P =.05) than during visits in which mothers did not disclose. The association between self-efficacy and disclosure was significant among low-income mothers (odds ratio 5.62, P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)382-389
Number of pages8
JournalAcademic Pediatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • African American
  • childhood mental health
  • parent-provider communication
  • primary care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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