Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Quality of Life Research (2022) 31:3403–3412


This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


Purpose The purpose of the study was to examine the contributions of parents’ health and distress to parent’s and children’s assessments of children’s health.

Methods We used baseline data from a longitudinal study of 364 children (ages 4–12) about to undergo surgery and their parents in a Southern California pediatric hospital. We used the 20-item child self-reported CHRIS 2.0 general health and the parallel parent-reported measure of the child’s health, along with a measure of parental distress about the child’s health were administered in the perioperative period. Other measures included parents’ physical and mental health, quality of life, distress over their child’s health, and number and extent of other health problems of the child and siblings.

Results On average, parents’ reports about the child were consistently and statistically significantly higher than children’s self-reports across all sub-dimensions of the CHRIS 2.0 measure. Parents’ personal health was positively associated with their reports of the child’s health. More distressed parents were closer to the child’s self-reports, but reported poorer personal health.

Conclusion Parent–child differences in this study of young children’s health were related to parental distress. Exploring the nature of the gap between parents and children in assessments of children’s health could improve effective clinical management for the child and enhance family-centered pediatric care. Future studies are needed to assess the generalizability of CHRIS 2.0 to other health settings and conditions and to other racial/ethnic groups.

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