To investigate cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between parent factors and self-management for youth with spina bifida (SB).
Participants were 89 camper–parent dyads recruited for a summer camp program for youth with SB (Myouthage = 12.2 years); 48 of these families participated across 2 years. Campers and parents completed assessments at Time 1 (pre-camp) and Time 3 (post-camp) for one or two summers. Parents reported on demographics, their own adjustment, perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors, and youth condition-related responsibility and task mastery. Youth also reported on condition-related responsibility. Hierarchical multiple regression analyses and multilevel modeling were used to examine relationships between parent factors and youth self-management.
Parents’ expectations for future goal attainment were positively associated with camper responsibility and task mastery, and these associations were moderated by camper age (only significant for older campers). When examining changes over one summer, parental expectations for the future were significantly associated with changes in campers’ condition-related task mastery. When examining trajectories across summers, parental perception of child vulnerability was negatively associated with the slope of condition-related responsibility and parents’ expectations for future goal attainment were positively associated with the slope of task mastery.
Parent perceptions and behaviors may be important targets for assessment and intervention when promoting condition-related independence for youth with SB.