The Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural Areas: A Portrait of the Nation 2005
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Parenting Aggravation  |  Smoking in the Household

Parenting Aggravation

The demands of parenting can cause considerable aggravation for families. Parents were asked how often during the past month they had felt that their child was much harder to care for than others of his or her age; how often the child did things that really bothered them; and how often they had felt angry with the child. Overall, parents of 8 percent of children answered “usually” or “always” to at least one of these measures of parenting aggravation. Parenting aggravation is noticeably lower among the parents of children living in small rural areas: parents of 6.7 percent of these children report aggravation, compared to parents of 8.2 percent of children in urban areas.

In general, the parents of older children and children with lower family incomes experience more parenting aggravation. In every age group, rates of parenting aggravation are lowest in rural areas. For instance, among children up to age 5, the parents of 6.9 percent usually or always experience parenting aggravation in urban areas, compared to parents of 5.7 and 5.5 percent in large rural and small rural areas, respectively. This pattern holds true among older children, with the highest rates of parenting aggravation among the parents of children aged 12-17 years living in urban areas (10.0 percent).

Rates of parental aggravation are also lowest in rural areas across each income group. Children with family incomes below the Federal poverty level (FPL) living in urban areas are the most likely to have aggravated parents (14.0 percent), while children with family incomes of 400 percent of FPL and above living in large rural and small rural areas are the least likely (3.4 and 3.5 percent, respectively).

Graph: Percent of children whose parents are usually or always aggravated, by location




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This chartbook is based on data from the National Survey of Children's Health. Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The National Survey of Children's Health 2003. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005.