Parental concerns in parents of children attending pre- and primary school: analysis of the Portuguese population by District

Susana Algarvio, Isabel Leal, João Maroco

Abstract


Objective: In this study, our aim was to assess and analyze parental concerns by Portuguese District. Methods: The participants were 3842 parents of children between 3 and 10 years old, attending preschool and primary school, from 820 public schools in 18 Portuguese Districts. Parents completed a sociodemographic questionnaire, and a Parental Concerns Scale, composed by 5 subscales, family and school problems; feeding, sleep and physical complaints; preparation; fears; and negative behaviors. Results: Portuguese parents concerned about all the dimensions considered in this study. The highest level of concern was obtained in family and school problems, and the lowest level of concern about their children’s fears. There were significant differences between Districts, parents from Porto and Bragança showed the highest levels of concern. Parents from Coimbra, Évora, Beja e Portalegre, presented the lowest levels of concern. Conclusion: Parental concerns are an aspect of general parenting and must be considered by health professionals to promote healthier parents-children relationships. Geographic differences should be further investigated.


Keywords


parental concerns; representative study; Portuguese parents; parenting