Recurrent respiratory infections in young school-age children and psychological maternal predictors




recurrent respiratory infections, anxiety, psychological portrait, children, predictors


Recurrent respiratory infections (RRIs) in children remain a pertinent issue in modern medicine. According to literary data, the prevalence of this phenomenon can reach up to a quarter of the child population. RRIs adversely affect a child’s physical development, social adaptation, and give rise to intra-family conflicts.

Purpose - to investigate the contribution of psychological predictors from the mother’s perspective in the development of recurrent courses of respiratory infections in their young school-age children.

Materials and methods. The study included surveys of mothers (Spielberger-Hanin State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, the Varga-Stolin Parenting Attitudes Test) and their children (R. Temple, M. Dorki, E. Amen “Choose a face” projective test). The main group comprised children aged 5-7 years with RRIs according to the criteria of the 2021 Inter-Society Consensus. The control group consisted of children aged 5-7 years who experienced occasional acute respiratory infections.

Results. In our study, 40 families (mothers and children) participated. We found that mothers of children with RRIs had significantly higher levels of state and trait anxiety, as well as a higher score in the “Cooperation” parenting attitude model compared to the control group. In the structure of the anxiety phenomenon in mothers of children from the main group, 43% of cases exhibited high anxiety levels. Additionally, a high score in maternal personal anxiety correlated with a predominant choice of ineffective parenting models.

Conclusions. Mothers of children with a RRI have significantly higher levels of situational and personal anxiety (p<0.01). 43% of mothers of children with RRIs exhibit excessively high levels of personal anxiety. Furthermore, more anxious mothers tend to adopt the following parenting models towards their own children: “Little looser”, “Authoritarian hypersocialization” and “Rejection”. The predictive value in the development of RRIs in children is associated with the level of maternal trait anxiety and the psychological portrait of the mother-child relationship, namely the score for by the “Cooperation” model.

Data collection and processing were conducted in accordance with the Helsinki Declaration of the World Medical Association regarding ethical principles in medical research involving human subjects.

The informed consent of patients was obtained for the studies.

No conflict of interests was declared by the authors.


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