Selected personality factors affecting parents' choice of behavior during their child's hospitalization;
Increased parental presence on pediatric units necessitates that nurses provide psychological support to parents. The basis for effective support is the nurse's ability to understand, interpret and assess parental behavior. This aspect of the nursing process can be facilitated through a systematic investigation of the behavioral differences exhibited by parents. The literature suggested that remaining overnight versus not remaining overnight are specific behaviors which may indicate significant parental personality differences. The purpose of this study was to determine If there were significant differences In personality between parents who remain with their child the pre-operative night and parents who do not remain with their child the pre-operative night. Data were collected at Primary Children's Medical Center (PCMC) during a W/o-month period. The sample consisted of 76 mothers of 76 children admitted to PCMC for elective ear and throat surgery. There v/ere 11 mothers who remained overnight and 65 mothers who did not remain overnight. The two groups of mothers were compared on their scorings in the following measurements: (1) personality factors, measured by Cattell's Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF); (2) anxiety level, measured by second-level analysis of the 16PF; (3) ratings of their children's behavior, measured by the Child Behavioral Questionnaire. Statistical significance of differences was based on analysis of the data, utilizing the t-test for independent measures. There were statistically significant differences between the mothers who remained the pre-operative night and the mothers who did not remain the preoperative night. The results of this study suggest that a mother's decision to remain with her child the pre-operative night may reflect the mother's personality, as well as her perception of her child's separation anxiety. These mothers may tend to be tense, anxious and concerned with practical needs. They also tend to be concerned with their child's ability to respond to the stress of separation . The clinical significance of these findings relates to hospital policy and the nurses' supporting role. Unrestricted visiting policies, which permit parents the option of remaining overnight, may provide parents with an adaptive behavior that assists them in coping with the disequilibrium produced by their child's hospitalization and surgery. The nurse's ability to initiate and encourage communication with these parents is an essential element in the nurse's supportive role. Open lines of communication might help to alleviate parental anxiety and facilitate both the parent's and child's adjustment. Further studies are necessary to validate these findings. Future studies should incorporate a larger sample which included both mothers and fathers. The sample should also reflect greater heterogenosity in transcultural, socioeconomic and educational factors.
Digital reproduction of “Selected personality factors affecting parents' choice of behavior during their child's hospitalization.” Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library. Print version of “Selected personality factors affecting parents' choice of behavior during their child's hospitalization.” available at J. Willard Marriott Library Special Collection. RJ25.5 1975 .B37.