Journal of Pediatric Nursing
The purpose of this study was to compare the early child-rearing practices between mothers of young children with congenital heart disease (CHD) and mothers of healthy children. In addition, maternal stress, parental developmental expectations, and the early behavioral and emotional development of their children were explored. Maccoby’s (1992) socialization theory emphasizing the reciprocal nature of mother-child interactions provided the framework for this study. Findings from quantitative self-report measures and videotaped parent-child interactions showed a remarkable similarity between mothers of children with CHD and mothers of healthy children. In contrast, qualitative data revealed important differences with mothers of CHD children reporting high levels of vigilance with their children. The important role of promoting the principle of normalization among mothers of children with CHD and ensuring a sufficient support system is discussed.