Barnard’s Child Health Assessment Interaction Theory

Contributor: Jacqueline Fawcett & Maeona Kramer
January 16, 2019

Kathryn E. Barnard, BSN, MSN, PhD

Year First Published – circa 1978

Major Concepts
  • Caregiver
    • Physical Health
    • Mental Health
    • Coping
    • Educational Level
  • Environment
    • Cultural Factors/Expectations
    • Support Available
    • Financial Resources
    • Community Resources/Involvement
  •  Child
    • Sleep/Feeding Patterns
    • Temperament
    • Physical Appearance
    • Physical/Mental Abilities
Typology – A middle range theory
Brief Description

The three concepts – The intersections among the Caregiver, Environment, and Child are an interaction, similar to a Venn diagram. The theory proposes “that the individual characteristics of each member influence the parent-infant system, and that the adaptive behavior modifies these characteristics to meet the needs of the system” (Pokorny, 2010, p. 62).

Sources

Barnard, K. E. (1978). Nursing child assessment and training: Learning resource manual. Seattle, WA: University of Washington.

Guo, Y., Leu, S.-Y., Barnard, K. E., Thompson, E. A., & Spieker, S. J. (2015). an examination of changes in emotion co-regulation among mother and child dyads during the strange situation. Infant & Child Development, 24, 256–273

Lawton, J., Waugh, N., Noyes, K., Barnard, K., Harden, J., Bath, L., … Rankin, D. (2015). Improving communication and recall of information in paediatric diabetes consultations: a qualitative study of parents’ experiences and views. BMC Pediatrics, 15(1), 67–75.

Pokorny, M. E. (2010). Nursing theorists of historical significance: Kathryn E. Barnard. In M. R. Alligood & A. M. Tomey (Eds.), Nursing theorists and their work (7th ed., pp. 61-63). Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier.

Reifsnider, E., Gallagher, M., & Forgione, B. (2005). Using ecological models in research on health disparities. Journal of Professional Nursing, 21, 216-222.

Tsai, S.-Y., Thomas, K. A., Lentz, M. J., & Barnard, K. E. (2012). Light is beneficial for infant circadian entrainment: an actigraphic study. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 68, 1738–1747.

Wacharasin C, & Barnard K. E. (2001). Predicting child cognitive development in low-income families. Communicating Nursing Research, 34, 342.

Application Sources

Barnard’s theory has been used to guide practice, which “has transformed the way that healthcare providers evaluate children in light of the parent-child relationship” (Pokorny, 2010, p. 62). The theory also has been used to “to study community problems that affect health disparities” (Pokorny, 2010, p. 62; see Reifsnider et al. 2005).

Pokorny, M. E. (2010). Nursing theorists of historical significance: Kathryn E. Barnard. In M. R. Alligood & A. M. Tomey (Eds.), Nursing theorists and their work (7th ed., pp. 61-63). Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier.

Reifsnider, E., Gallagher, M., & Forgione, B. (2005). Using ecological models in research on health disparities. Journal of Professional Nursing, 21, 216-222.

The Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training Project (NCAST), founded by Dr. Barnard, now is the Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development, which includes Parent-Child Relationship Programs (see

About the author

Kathryn E. Barnard (1938-2015)

Education:

1960 BSN – University of Nebraska
?1963 MSN – Boston University
1972 PhD in Ecology of Early Childhood Development, University of Washington

Employment:

1954 – ? First nursing position at the age of 16 at Douglas Country Hospital in Nebraska
1963-2006 Faculty, University of Washington; retired in 2006

One of Many Honors:  2002 Gustav O. Leinhard Award from the Institute of Medicine for a lifetime of achievement

“Kathryn E. Barnard [has been] an active researcher, educator and consultant who

Dr. Kathryn Barnard with an infant, circa 1960s
(From https://nursing.uw.edu/article/remembering-kathryn-barnard-a-nursing-legend/)

has published extensively since the mid-1960s about improving the health of infants and their families. She began her work by studying mentally and physically handicapped children and adults, moved into studying the activities of the well child, and then expanded her work to include methods of evaluating the growth and development of children and mother-infant relationships, and how the environment can influence the course of development for children and families. [Barnard] is the founder of the Nursing Child Assessment Satellite Training Project (NCAST), which provides healthcare workers around the globe with guidelines for assessing infant development and parent-child interactions” (Pokorny, 2010, pp. 61-62).

From Pokorny, M. E. (2010). Nursing theorists of historical significance: Kathryn E. Barnard. In M. R. Alligood & A. M. Tomey (Eds.), Nursing theorists and their work (7th ed., pp. 61-63). Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier.)

For more information about Dr. Barnard, see

University of Washington Obituary

New York Times Obituary