Psychological stress has been linked to developmental problems and poor health in children, but it is unclear whether it is also related to otitis media (OM). As part of a long-term study surveying the characteristics of childcare and development in Taiwan, we analyzed the relationship between OM and sources of psychological stress in children, such as poor maternal mental health and harsh parental discipline. We analyzed the data of 1998 children from the “Kids in Taiwan: National Longitudinal Study of Child Development & Care (KIT) Project” at the age of 3 years. Using bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models, we tested several risk factors as potential independent predictors of two outcomes: parent-reported incidence of OM and child health. The proportion of children who had developed OM in the first 3 years of their life was 12.5%. Daycare attendance (odds ratio [OR]: 1.475; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.063–2.046), poor maternal mental health (OR: 1.913; 95% CI: 1.315–2.784), and harsh parental discipline (OR: 1.091; 95% CI: 1.025–1.161) correlated with parent-reported occurrence of OM. These findings suggest that providing psychosocial support to both parents and children might be a novel strategy for preventing OM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas