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Children 2018, 5(6), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/children5060076

Parent Attributions of Ambiguous Symptoms in Their Children: A Preliminary Measure Validation in Parents of Children with Chronic Pain

1
Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative, and Pain Medicine, Stanford Medical School, Stanford, CA 94304, USA
2
Division of Behavioral Medicine and Clinical Psychology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA
3
Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA
4
Departments of Anesthesiology and Psychiatry, Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 May 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 5th Anniversary Issue)
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Abstract

How parents attribute cause to their child’s physical symptoms is likely important in understanding how the parent responds to the child, as well as the child’s health outcomes, especially within the context of chronic illness. Here, we adapt the Symptom Interpretation Questionnaire for parent report (SIQ-PR) and provide preliminary validation in a sample of parents of children with chronic pain (N = 311). Confirmatory factor analysis revealed that the SIQ-PR structure is consistent with the original measure, with three distinct attribution types: psychological (emotional/affective), somatic (illness/disease), and environmental (situational/transient) causes. All three subscales demonstrated satisfactory to good internal consistency, and temporal stability. Parents typically endorsed more than one attribution for each symptom, indicating that parents of children with chronic pain have a multidimensional interpretation of physical symptoms in their children. Further, parent psychological and somatic attributions, but not environmental attributions, were significantly associated with (i) parent protective responses towards their child, and (ii) the child’s self-reported somatic and psychological symptoms, indicating convergent and divergent validity. The SIQ-PR may be a useful measure for future studies investigating intergenerational and interpersonal models of pediatric chronic pain, and more broadly, to examine parent attributions of children’s ambiguous symptoms within the context of childhood chronic illness. View Full-Text
Keywords: symptom attribution; Symptom Interpretation Questionnaire; somatic symptoms; pediatric chronic pain; parent; child symptom attribution; Symptom Interpretation Questionnaire; somatic symptoms; pediatric chronic pain; parent; child
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Heathcote, L.C.; Williams, S.E.; Smith, A.M.; Sieberg, C.B.; Simons, L.E. Parent Attributions of Ambiguous Symptoms in Their Children: A Preliminary Measure Validation in Parents of Children with Chronic Pain. Children 2018, 5, 76.

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