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Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
EYMANN, Alfredo et al. Impact of divorce on the quality of life in school-age children. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2009, vol.85, n.6, pp. 547-552. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.2223/JPED.1958.
OBJECTIVE: To assess psychosocial quality of life in school-age children of divorced parents. METHODS: A cross-sectional survey was conducted at the pediatric outpatient clinic of a community hospital. Children 5 to 12 years old from married families and divorced families were included. Child quality of life was assessed through maternal reports using a Child Health Questionnaire - Parent Form 50. A multiple linear regression model was constructed including clinically relevant variables significant on univariate analysis (beta coefficient and 95%CI). RESULTS: Three hundred and thirty families were invited to participate and 313 completed the questionnaire. Univariate analysis showed that quality of life was significantly associated with parental separation, child sex, time spent with the father, standard of living, and maternal education. In a multiple linear regression model, quality of life scores decreased in boys -4.5 (-6.8 to -2.3) and increased for time spent with the father 0.09 (0.01 to 0.2). In divorced families, multiple linear regression showed that quality of life scores increased when parents had separated by mutual agreement 6.1 (2.7 to 9.4), when the mother had university level education 5.9 (1.7 to 10.1) and for each year elapsed since separation 0.6 (0.2 to 1.1), whereas scores decreased in boys -5.4 (-9.5 to -1.3) and for each one-year increment of maternal age -0.4 (-0.7 to -0.05). CONCLUSION: Childrens psychosocial quality of life was affected by divorce. The Child Health Questionnaire can be useful to detect a decline in the psychosocial quality of life.
Keywords : Argentina; child; health status; health-related quality of life; family relations; Child Health Questionnaire.