Academic journal article Journal of Family Studies

Parent-Child Perceptions of Quality of Life: Implications for Health Intervention

Academic journal article Journal of Family Studies

Parent-Child Perceptions of Quality of Life: Implications for Health Intervention

Article excerpt


The KIDSCREEN-52 is an instrument that assesses I O dimensions of health-related quality of/ire (HRQoL). It was developed as a result of studies by the European KIDSCREEN Group, University of Berlin (; see also Bisegger et al., 2005). During the Portuguese validation process, a model was developed to examine the perceptions of children and their parents on these dimensions. Structural equation modelling was used in order to estimate the fit of this model, in both cases according to gender and age. The specific aim of the present study was to examine the extent to which results differ by gender and age. An additional aim was to explore differences between the child and parent versions of the instrument, globally as well as by gender and age of the children. The results are based on a nationally representative sample of 3195 children from 5th and 7th grades. Data from each child were paired with data from their parents (2256 matched sets of data were generated). Most of the subscales exhibited good internal consistency in both the children's and parent's versions of KIDSCREEN-52, with values of the alpha coefficient approaching or above .80 for most scales. The exception was the subscale concerned with self-perception where the coefficient was approximately .64 for both children and parents. Subscale scores for children's and parents' versions correlated moderately strongly in the sample of matched pairs. This indicates that children and their parents view their health-related quality of life consistently, although parents tend to perceive their children's quality of life as better than their children do. Analysis of variance suggested that there were small differences in scores associated with gender and age. The results confirm that the KIDSCREEN-52 questionnaire is a relevant instrument to estimate the perception of quality of life both in children and their parents. The findings that parents are not totally aware of their children's subjective health-related quality of life perceptions and that parents have different perceptions according to the gender and the age of their children, have implications for professional practice and intervention with families of school-aged children.

Keywords: Wellbeing; health-related quality of life; children; adolescents; parents


Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in children and adolescents is a relatively recent focus of concern for health professionals. In the same way as it was described for adults by Ribeiro (1994), this concept needs to be applied to the wellbeing of children within an ecological perspective, which includes multiple levels of analysis; namely, self-perception and family-perception (Harding, 2001; Nelson, Laurendeau, & Chamberland, 2001). Children's perceptions of their health-related quality of life are influenced by several factors such as gender, age, personal and familial characteristics, and socio economic status (Bronfenbrenner, 1986; Caldera & Hart, 2004; Kazdin & Whitley, 2003). Studies focusing on children's subjective wellbeing include interactions between demographics (e.g., age, gender and socioeconomic status), interpersonal characteristics (self-perception, feelings, general mood) and perceptions ofwellbeing and happiness. (Matos, 2005; Mccullough, Huebner, & Laughlin, 2000; Plancherel, Bolognini, & Halfon, 1998).

In a review of research that compared self-reports of children and proxy reports of parents about health-related quality of life (Eiser & Morse, 2001), the most common analytical strategies have included Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients, k-statistics, comparison of group means, and interclass correlation coefficients (ICC) (Tamim, McCusker, & Dendukuri, 2002). The examination of Pearson correlation and ICC results provide useful evidence to evaluate the degree of agreement between children's and parents' perceptions (Eiser & Morse, 2001; Marshall, Hays, & Nicholas, 1994). …

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