Social inequality in parent-infant relations: Epidemiological study of community nurse records

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Abstract

Background: Some studies suggest that favourable socioeconomic circumstances are associated with better parent-child relations but the documentation of such an association is limited and inconsistent. Few studies focused on infancy, few studies relied on objective measurement of parent-infant relations, and few studies included more than one measurement of parent-infant relations in the first year of life. Aims: To report the prevalence of objectively measured problems in parent-infant relations during the first year of life and to examine the association between socioeconomic circumstances and parent-infant relations in an unselected community sample of infants. Methods: Cross-sectional study of a community sample of children from birth to 10 months in 15 municipalities in Denmark, n = 11,765. The exposure variables were population register data about socioeconomic circumstances: (a) parents' education, (b) family composition, (c) parents' origin, and (d) parents' occupational status. The outcome variable was the health visitor's concerns about the parent-infant relation assessed at four home visits from birth to 10 months after delivery. Results: The proportion of children with concerns about the parent-infant relation was 10.5%, 7.8% at one home visit and 2.8% at two or more home visits. Logistic regression analyses showed that all four indicators of socioeconomic circumstances were associated with concerns about the parent-infant relation in the first year of life. Conclusions: The risk of problematic parent-infant relations were significantly elevated among, children of immigrant parents, and children of parents with shorter education and not in education or work.

Original languageEnglish
Book seriesScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Pages (from-to)1403494820983137
ISSN1403-4956
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18. Jan 2021

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