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Longitudinal Examination of the Parent-Child Distress Relationship in Children With Juvenile Rheumatic Disease

Ryan, Jamie Lynn
The objective of the current study was to examine the longitudinal relationships between parent and child distress in a sample of children with juvenile rheumatic diseases (JRDs). A cross-lagged panel correlation analysis tested the temporal precedence of parent distress vs. child distress over a one-year period. Thirty-seven children (ages 9-17; 22 males) diagnosed with JRD and their parents completed self-report measures on two occasions (assessment interval M = 12 months). Primary outcome measures included the Child Depression Inventory (CDI) and Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Findings and Conclusions: Significant cross-sectional parent-child distress associations were observed at both time points. Moreover, Time 1 parent distress predicted child distress at Time 2 after child-reported functional ability was controlled; Time 1 child distress was unrelated to Time 2 parent distress. Cross-lagged panel correlations demonstrated the temporal precedence of parent distress relative to child distress in the parent-child distress relationship. These preliminary findings underscore the importance of parent distress in parent-child transactional adjustment, and suggest a predominant role for parent distress in children's adjustment to juvenile rheumatic diseases.