Parental Reactions Following the Diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy in Their Young Child
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OBJECTIVE: To investigate parental reactions following the diagnosis of cerebral palsy (CP) in their young children. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 51 parents of children with CP (mean age = 18.5 months, SD = 1.5) completed the Reaction to Diagnosis Interview, assessing their personal reactions to their children's diagnosis. Relationships between these reactions and the severity of CP in terms of motor abilities and the child's cognitive functioning, as well as coping of parents and perceived social support, were investigated using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. RESULTS: Thirty-nine parents (77%) were classified as "resolved." Multivariate regression analysis revealed that severity of CP was associated with an "unresolved" status. CONCLUSION: The majority of parents of children with CP have come to terms with this diagnosis by the time their children is 18 months old. The child's gross motor limitations seem to represent an important factor explaining negative parental reactions at this time.
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