This chapter provides the reader with an overview of (a) the dynamics (i.e., process) of psychosocial adaptation to chronic illness and disabilities (CID), (b) methods commonly used to assess psychosocial adaptation to CID, and (c) intervention strategies applied to people with CID. The chapter groups the psychosocial adaptation to CID under three headings: basic concepts such as stress, loss and grief, and quality of life, CID-triggered reactions, and CID-related coping strategies. The literature on CID-related coping strategies is vast. The chapter describes only a cursory overview of the most commonly reported strategies, directly related to coping with CID. It first briefly discusses the concept of coping and illustrates its relevance to CID. Over the past half century, a large number of measures of psychosocial adaptation to and coping with CID have been reported in the literature. The chapter reviews only those psychometrically sound measures most frequently reported in the literature.
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Many disabled people who have internalized dominant, ableist, heteronormative notions of strength, beauty, sex, and sexuality continue to experience psychological insecurity and distress when confronted with their own sexuality. The institutionalization of disability studies and the proliferation of a vibrant and dynamic disability culture, both of which have their roots in disabled activism and the social model of disability, have given rise to a whole new subfield, disability sexuality studies. Transforming the future of (dis/abled) sexualities hinges on the notion that sex and disability are malleable, pliable, and quite often multifarious. Disabled people cannot, and must not, create a “dismodern” world on their own. They must continue to build coalitions, coalitions across disability, across various sexual and racial/ethnic minorities, and with their (often) privileged “nondisabled” allies. Researchers, activists, and artists need to work together to dispel powerful myths about the dominant arenas in which sexuality is performed.
- Go to chapter: Giving Parents a Voice: A Qualitative Study of the Challenges Experienced by Parents of Children With Disabilities
Giving Parents a Voice: A Qualitative Study of the Challenges Experienced by Parents of Children With Disabilities
No other single individual or health care provider has more influence on the personal health and wellness of a child with a disability than the parent. To date, however, much research concerned with the well-being of parents of children with disabilities has not captured their experiences from the perspective of the parents themselves. Qualitative methods permit researchers to study selected issues in depth, and they produce a wealth of detailed information that increases understanding of the cases and situations studied. This chapter identifies specific sources of challenges related to raising a child with a disability as expressed by parents themselves. Specifically, it investigates the following research questions: (a) What are the principal stressors and challenges for parents of children with disabilities? and (b) What supports and services do parents identify as being needed to deal with the stress and challenges of their responsibilities?.
The chapter explores the history from the middle ages to the present day, noting the trials and tribulations of a population that continues to remain poorly understood and misperceived by the general public. Conditions for people with psychiatric disabilities did not fare much better in the American colonies. Similar to the circumstances during the Middle Ages, care for this population was the family’s responsibility if they had a family to care for them. Moral treatments began to decline in the second half of the 19th century in favor of somatic therapies and behavioral control techniques. Although psychiatrists initially scoffed at the notion that the quality of the care they provided in mental hospitals was subpar, research was conducted in the treatment of mental illness that brought about improvements. Physicians continued to develop and work toward improvement of somatic treatments for psychiatric disabilities in the early part of the 20th century.