The Relationship of Child Temperament, Maternal Parenting Stress, Maternal Child Interaction and Child Health Rating

  • Shelagh J. LarkinEmail author
  • Melanie Otis


Considering the relationship between maternal and child factors that influence child health is key to understanding child wellbeing. Several studies have considered the contributions of familial and environmental factors on child health outcomes. Expanding on this research, this study examines child temperament, maternal parenting stress, and maternal–child interaction as predictors of child health, while controlling for poverty, parental relationship status, and the number of children in the household factors known to impact health. Multinomial regression analysis of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study year one data set, n = 3712, was conducted to test three hypotheses: higher child emotionality will be predictive of lower child health rating, higher parenting stress will be predictive of lower child health ratings, and, higher levels of maternal–child interaction will be predictive of higher child health ratings. Findings indicated that all study variables were significant predictors of child health ratings [− 2 Log likelihood = 6657.40, χ2 215.661, p < .001, Nagelkerke R2 .067], demonstrating the importance of temperament, parenting stress, and maternal–child interaction when considering child health. Social workers working with children and families in a variety of settings may want to target these factors to improve health outcomes of children.


Child health Temperament Parenting stress Maternal–child interaction 



Research reported in this publication was supported by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers R01HD36916, R01HD39135, and R01HD40421, as well as a consortium of private foundations. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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