Impaired Parenting

Inability of the primary caretaker to create, maintain, or regain an environment that promotes the optimum growth and development of the child

Defining Characteristics:

  • Poor academic performance; 
  • frequent illness; 
  • runaway; 
  • incidence of physical and psychological trauma or abuse; 
  • frequent accidents; 
  • lack of attachment; 
  • failure to thrive; 
  • behavioral disorders; 
  • poor social competence; 
  • lack of separation anxiety; 
  • poor cognitive development
  • Inappropriate child care arrangements; 
  • rejection of or hostility to child; 
  • statements of inability to meet child's needs; 
  • inflexibility in meeting needs of child or situation; 
  • poor or inappropriate caretaking skills; 
  • regularly punitive; 
  • inconsistent care; 
  • child abuse; 
  • inadequate child health maintenance; 
  • unsafe home environment; 
  • verbalization of inability to control child; 
  • negative statements about child; 
  • verbalization of role inadequacy or frustration; 
  • inappropriate visual, tactile, auditory stimulation; 
  • abandonment; 
  • insecure or lack of attachment to infant; 
  • inconsistent behavior management; 
  • child neglect; little cuddling; 
  • maternal-child interaction deficit; 
  • poor parent-child interaction

Related Factors:

  • Lack of access to resources; 
  • social isolation; 
  • lack of resources; 
  • poor home environment; 
  • lack of family cohesiveness; 
  • inadequate child care arrangements; 
  • lack of transportation; 
  • unemployment or job problems; 
  • role strain or overload; 
  • marital conflict, declining satisfaction; 
  • lack of value of parenthood; 
  • change in family unit; 
  • low socioeconomic class; 
  • unplanned or unwanted pregnancy; 
  • presence of stress (e.g., financial, legal, recent crisis, cultural move); 
  • lack of or poor parental role model; 
  • single parent; 
  • lack of social support network; 
  • father of child not involved; 
  • history of being abusive; 
  • history of being abused; 
  • financial difficulties; 
  • maladaptive coping strategies; 
  • poverty; 
  • poor problem-solving skills; 
  • inability to put child's needs before own; 
  • low self-esteem; 
  • relocations;
  • legal difficulties
  • Lack of knowledge about child health maintenance;
  • lack of knowledge about parenting skills; 
  • unrealistic expectations for self, infant, partner; 
  • limited cognitive functioning; 
  • lack of knowledge about child development; 
  • inability to recognize and act on infant cues; 
  • low educational level or attainment; 
  • poor communication skills; 
  • lack of cognitive readiness for parenthood; 
  • preference for physical punishment

Physical illness

  • Premature birth;
  • illness; 
  • prolonged separation from parent; 
  • not desired gender; 
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; 
  • difficult temperament; 
  • separation from parent at birth; 
  • lack of goodness of fit (temperament) with parental expectations; 
  • unplanned or unwanted child; 
  • handicapping condition or developmental delay; 
  • multiple births; 
  • altered perceptual abilities
  • History of substance abuse or dependencies; 
  • disability; 
  • depression; 
  • difficult labor and/or delivery; 
  • young age, 
  • especially adolescent; 
  • history of mental illness; 
  • high number of or closely spaced pregnancies; 
  • sleep derivation or disruption; 
  • lack of or late prenatal care; 
  • separation from infant/child
NOTE: It is important to reaffirm that adjustment to parenting in general is a normal maturational process that elicits nursing behaviors to prevent potential problems and to promote health.

NOC Outcomes (Nursing Outcomes Classification)

Suggested NOC Labels
  • Child Development: 2 Months
  • 4 Months
  • 6 Months
  • 2 Years
  • 3 Years
  • 4 Years
  • 5 Years
  • Middle Childhood (6 - 11 Years)
  • Adolescence (12 - 17 Years)
  • Parent-Infant Attachment
  • Parenting
  • Parenting: Social Safety
  • Role Performance
  • Safety Behavior: Home Physical Environment
  • Social Support

Client Outcomes
  • Affirms desire to develop constructive parenting skills to support infant/child growth and development
  • Initiates appropriate measures to develop a safe, nurturing environment
  • Acquires and displays attentive, supportive parenting behaviors
  • Identifies strategies to protect child from harm and/or neglect and initiates action when indicated

NIC Interventions (Nursing Interventions Classification)

Suggested NIC Labels
  • Abuse Protection: Child
  • Attachment Promotion
  • Developmental Enhancement
  • Family Integrity Promotion
  • Parenting Promotion

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