Objective: To examine the association between mothers’ health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and their children’s HRQOL and behavior in low-income families.
Methods: Mothers of 278 children aged 6–12 years from low-income families were invited to complete the Child Health Questionnaire Parent Form 50 (CHQ-PF50) and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) for their children as well as the 12-item Short-Form Health Survey version 2 (SF-12v2) and the Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2). Multiple linear regressions with mother–child pairs as the unit of analysis were performed to examine the associations between maternal and child variables with adjustment of mother- and child-level confounders.
Results: Compared with the general population, low-income mothers had a lower mean SF-12v2 mental component summary score and their children also had lower mean CHQ-PF50 physical and psychosocial summary scores and SDQ total difficulties score. Children of mothers with SF-12v2 scores below the population mean of 50 had significantly worse CHQ-PF50 scores and higher SDQ total difficulties scores. The mother’s PHQ-2 depression status had no association with the child’s CHQ-PF50 scores.
Conclusion: Our findings suggest that more attention should be paid to reducing the negative impact of health problems on mothers’ daily roles in childcare in low-income families.