Patterns of family adaptation to childhood asthma
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This study examined patterns in adaptation among parents with a child who had moderate to severe persistent asthma. Specifically, we were interested in examining the differences in adaptation between mothers and fathers in which it was hypothesized that gender effects would be obtained in patterns of coping. Eighty-four parents participated in the study, representing 37 intact families in which both parents were present and 13 single-parent families. Within intact families, mothers exhibited greater efforts than fathers in coping patterns including strategies to acquire social support outside the family, enhance self-worth, and decrease psychological tensions. When compared to mothers in single-parent families, mothers within intact families had a greater tendency to use coping patterns related to family integration and cooperation. Such findings demonstrate a need for additional support for mothers in their role in caring for the chronically ill child. The implications of these findings for clinical practice are discussed.
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