Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing


Families who successfully cope and adapt to having a child with a developmental disability are of interest to health professionals. The Typology Model of Adjustment and Adaptation and family hardiness provided the conceptual framework to explore and describe the relationships between family hardiness and family coping and adaptation. Sixty-three families returned a mailed survey that included the Family Hardiness Index, Coping Health Inventory for Parents, and Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales II. Higher levels of family hardiness were associated with better family coping and adaptation. Results of ANOVAs and multiple regression indicate the level of mental retardation of the adult child did not influence family hardiness or adaptation. Some coping patterns were influenced by the child's level of mental retardation and behavior. Parental characteristics did not affect coping patterns. Family hardiness, parents' education, and fathers' health were correlated.


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