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?.
Identity arises out of the sum of our experiences. This chapter traces the developmental concept of identity through its manifestations at different levels of community, revealing a complex and systemic context for rehabilitation counseling. Each level of identity (personal, social, and collective) denotes a potential point of counseling exchange with the family. The authors of this chapter consider family identity in relation to disability and interaction with the community. They discuss personal identity versus family identity and social identity within a social movement. The McMaster model of family functioning and the three dominant tasks of family are explored as are the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization, 2001) domains of health conditions, activities and participation, and functions affected. Finally, the chapter presents methods of family coping (both negative and positive strategies), family resiliency, and strategies that counselors can use to effectively assist families.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF; World Health Organization [WHO], 2001), and its predecessors the International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH and ICIDH - 2; WHO, 1980, 1999) have been influential in the conceptualization of the construct of disability in the United States and internationally for more than three decades. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the history of classification of health and illness, and the role that different conceptualizations of disability have played along the way. It then reviews the development of the ICF within the context of these conceptualizations and introduces its key concepts, conceptual framework, and a brief orientation to its use. It concludes with consideration of the current and future impact of the ICF on conceptualizing psychological and social aspects of illness and disability.