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Examining Parent Distress and Youth Response to Stress As Mediators in the Association Between Parent-Perceived Illness Intrusiveness and Child Depressive Symptoms in Youth with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Baudino, Marissa N.

Objective: To examine parent depressive symptoms and child response to stress as potential serial mediators in the relation between parents' illness intrusiveness and child depressive symptoms in youth with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and their caregivers.

Methods: Caregivers of youth with IBD completed measures of illness intrusiveness and depressive symptoms. Youth completed measures of response to stress and depressive symptoms. Pediatric gastroenterologists provided estimates of disease activity.

Results: Bias-corrected bootstrapped confidence intervals revealed a non-significant illness intrusiveness → parent depressive symptoms → response to stress → child depressive symptoms serial mediation path. However, results revealed a significant illness intrusiveness → response to stress → child depressive symptoms indirect path.

Conclusions: Results provided partial support for the notion that heightened levels of illness intrusiveness have an impact on youths' perceptions of parents' stress, resulting in increased child depressive symptoms. However, the present findings suggest that illness intrusiveness does not operate through parent depressive symptoms. Although speculative, it may be that other parent adjustment variables (e.g., parenting stress) may play a role in the association between parent-perceived illness intrusiveness and child adjustment outcomes.