Parental child-rearing attitudes (as assessed by the Amsterdam version of the Parental Attitude Research Instrument, A-PARI), are associated with constipation in children in Dutch study.
More specifically, both higher and lower scores on the autonomy attitude scale were associated with decreased defecation frequency and increased faecal incontinence. High scores on the overprotection and self-pity attitude scales were associated with increased faecal incontinence.
“Autonomy” reflects emphasis on encouraging independence. “Overprotection” refers to concern about child with respect to prevention of disappointment and problems for the child, and need to know what’s going on inside child. “Self pity” refers to irritability and frustration with respect to upbringing, which implies rejection.
More and stronger associations were found for children aged ≥6 years than for younger children.
Authors recommend addressing parenting issues during treatment and even referral to mental health services when parenting difficulties hinder treatment or when the parent–child relationship is at risk. [Arch Dis Child 2015;100:329-333 doi:10.1136/archdischild-2014-305941]]