Creative coping: a description of experiences of families coping with chronic illness in a child
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Chronic illness impacts numerous families in the United States. Children are increasingly among those affected by a chronic illness. The families undergo trials and experiences that tax their coping skills and require extensive coping strategies. This research project explored how families cope with chronic illness in one of the children in the family. The objective of the research project was to use the method of case study to examine the everyday lives, perceptions, and coping strategies of the family members as they deal with the realities of the effects of a childÂs illness on a daily basis. Three families were studied using the case study format. Through interviews, observations, and investigation of data, the researcher gathered pertinent information about the participantsÂ lives and experiences. Emergent themes were identified from the facts gathered. These themes included information and suggestions that various participants offered. Included among the emergent themes were the following titles: alarming environment, redefined realities, relational requests, valuable individual, coping concoctions, as well as awareness and advocacy. The studyÂs emergent themes were divided into numerous subcategories. The multiple realities that the family members face is evidenced in the number of issues and themes that emerged from the study. This research project gives additional insight into the reality of the lives of families experiencing chronic illness in one of the children. Suggestions and observations by the participants could be useful for family, friends, medical professionals, educational systems, and support groups that interact with families facing similar trials. The descriptive style of the study lends itself to the vicarious interaction of the reader to the circumstances of the participants. This format allows the reader to transfer knowledge to his or her own experiences. The study could further be useful by offering detail to the existing knowledge base, in addition to aiding in the development of theory.
McGough, Marnique (2003). Creative coping: a description of experiences of families coping with chronic illness in a child. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Texas A&M University. Available electronically from