Objective. To assess differences in family functioning or child-rearing attitudes within families with previously colicky infants and to assess whether the children differed in their behavior, development, or frequency of allergies.
Study Design. A controlled, prospective study with infants (3 months to 3 years of age) and their families.
Participants. Three hundred thirty-eight infants with and 866 infants without exhibited colic and their families.
Methods. Questionnaires to mothers and nurses regarding infantile colic (3 months of age); questionnaires to mothers, fathers, and nurses regarding interactions within the family, parents' satisfaction with daily life, child caring, child behavior, and development (3 years old); the Denver Developmental Screening Test (parents filled out at home during the whole 3 years of infant development); the Achenbach Behavior Checklist for 2- to 3-year-old children (the 3-year visit at a well baby clinic).
Results. The families of previously colicky infants demonstrated more dissatisfaction with the arrangements of daily family responsibilities and with the amount of both leisure time and shared activities. The children in the colic group had more sleeping problems and more frequent temper tantrums (at 3 years of age) than the control group.
Conclusions. The families with colicky infants had more distress 3 years later. Families with colicky infants should be provided practical support in improving daily family functioning and child rearing. In addition, underlying problems in family relationships should be managed appropriately.
- Received April 15, 1994.
- Accepted September 19, 1994.
- Copyright © 1995 by the American Academy of Pediatrics