Parental Coping In The Context Of Having A Child Who Is Facing Death: A Theoretical Framework

Title

Parental Coping In The Context Of Having A Child Who Is Facing Death: A Theoretical Framework

Creator

Darlington A E; Korones D N; Norton S A

Identifier

DOI: 10.1017/S1478951517000463

Publisher

Palliative & Supportive Care

Date

2017

Subject

Child; Coping; End Of Life.; Palliative; Parent; Theory

Description

OBJECTIVE: While improvements in healthcare have resulted in children with complex and life-threatening conditions living longer, a proportion of them still die. The death of a child puts parents at increased risk for anxiety, depression, and complicated grief. Increasing our understanding of the coping strategies that parents use under such extreme circumstances will enable us to best provide support to families, before and after a child's death. Our aim herein was to develop a theoretical framework of parental coping. METHOD: Evidence from the literature was employed to develop a theoretical framework to describe parental coping in the context of having a child with a life-limiting illness who is declining and facing eventual death. RESULTS: The reasoning and argument consists of three guiding elements: (1) the importance of approach as well as avoidance (as coping strategies) in the context of managing the extreme emotions; (2) the importance of the social aspect of coping within a family, whereby parents cope for others as well as for themselves; and (3) the importance of a flexible and balanced coping profile, with parents using different coping strategies simultaneously. Central to the proposed framework is that effective coping, in terms of adjustment, is achieved by balancing coping strategies: accessing different coping strategies simultaneously or in parallel with a specific focus on (1) approach and avoidance and (2) coping aimed at self and others. SIGNIFICANCE OF RESULTS: Understanding of parental coping strategies is essential for health professionals in order to support parents effectively.

Rights

Article information provided for research and reference use only. PedPalASCNET does not hold any rights over the resource listed here. All rights are retained by the journal listed under publisher and/or the creator(s).

Citation List Month

September 2017 List

Notes

Using Smart Source Parsing Jul doi: 10.1017/S1478951517000463

Citation

Darlington A E; Korones D N; Norton S A, “Parental Coping In The Context Of Having A Child Who Is Facing Death: A Theoretical Framework,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed December 3, 2021, https://pedpalascnetlibrary.omeka.net/items/show/10766.

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