The moderating role of parental self-efficacy on parental worry and social activity limitation associated with pediatric food allergy

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Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology


Objective: Research has established associations between parental self-efficacy (SE) related to managing their child's food allergy (FA) and parent quality of life, but there has been limited examination of how parent variables predict child social outcomes. This study examined whether parental SE related to managing their child's FA moderates the association between parental worry and activity limitation of the child. Methods: Parents of 218 children with parent-reported FA completed an online survey, which included measures of demographics, child FA characteristics, parental SE, parental worry, and social activity limitation. Participants were recruited locally and nationally through social media, e-mail listservs, and paper flyers in pediatricians' and allergists' offices in the region. Results: Linear regression results indicated that parental SE moderated the association between parental worry and limitation of child's social activities, R-2 = .14, F(3, 213) = 8.35, p < .001. Parents with higher SE were less likely to limit their child's social activities, regardless of worry level, whereas parents with lower SE were more likely to limit child social activities as their reported worry increased. Conclusions: Findings suggest that SE may act as a protective factor against child's activity limitation and impairment of social quality of life when parents report high levels of worry, suggesting treatment targets for anxious parents of children with parent-reported FA.

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