Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



First Advisor

Vida L. Tyc

Second Advisor

Anthony LoGalbo

Third Advisor

Kimberly N. Sloman

Fourth Advisor

Robert A. Taylor


Parents of children with chronic health complaints are more likely to utilize healthcare services for their child, and are prone to experiencing increased stress and anxiety related to their child’s compromised health status. As these parents navigate managing their child’s health and integrating parenting behaviors, they are dealt with unique stressors that are likely to impact their parenting styles, anxiety, and use of healthcare services. However, most studies that have examined HCU in the context of parent-child relationships have neglected children with chronic health concerns (CHCs). This study examined the relationship between parenting styles across parents of children with a medical concern, and factors that may influence HCU for their child. The study sample consisted of 661 parents with at least one child with a CHC between the ages of 6-17 years of age. Findings showed that parents practiced a parenting style that was a balance of moderate levels of nurturance, consistency, and behavioral control that resembled those reported of healthy children. Results indicated that parenting styles did not influence HCU, but other factors such as degree of parental health anxiety regarding their child’s health, child age, child’s health status, and barriers to treatment were associated with HCU. This research emphasized the importance of providing parents with support as they manage their child’s CHCs, as well as the importance for increasing accessibility to preventative healthcare resources.


Copyright is held by author.