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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- 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?.