Parenting children with food allergy: Preliminary development of a measure assessing child-rearing behaviors in the context of pediatric food allergy

Natalie A. Williams, Gilbert R. Parra, T. David Elkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


Background: Food allergy affects up to 8% of children and is increasingly common. Although adult caregivers initially assume the primary role in children's daily allergy management activities, as children approach school age they assume greater responsibility for the prevention of allergic exposures. The ways that parents prepare children for this transition are likely to influence children's subsequent risk for allergic exposures, yet few studies have examined parent behaviors in the context of pediatric food allergy. Objective: To develop a brief measure to evaluate specific parenting practices related to caring for a child with food allergy. Methods: A total of 292 primary caregivers of food-allergic children completed an Internet-based survey that included the Parenting Children with Food Allergy (PCFA) questionnaire. Results: Factor analysis of the PCFA items suggested 3 factors that accounted for 98% of the variance: autonomy support, protection/monitoring, and emergency education. Internal consistencies for the 3 scales were acceptable (α = .79, .73, and .82, respectively). Child age and medical variables (history of emergency epinephrine use, perceived severity of worst allergic reaction, and number of different food allergies) were associated with parenting practices. Conclusion: Although additional psychometric data for the PCFA are needed, preliminary findings suggest that this measure may be useful in evaluating parenting within the context of pediatric food allergy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-145
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine

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