Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Colleen Smitherman

Second Advisor

Linda Grinstead

Third Advisor

Rodney Mulder


The purpose of this study was to determine what coping mechanisms families of chronically ill children indicated they utilized to cope on a daily basis. This study utilized the Coping Health Inventory for Parents (CHIP) to collect data. The CHIP is designed to assess parents perceptions of behaviors they are currently using to manage family life. There are three main coping patterns focused on and it is hypothesized that a balance of these three patterns is essential for a positive outcome. This study found there are certain mothers and fathers who are at risk for not using a balance of coping patterns. The mothers found at risk were younger mothers with less formal education. Fathers with lower incomes were also found to be at risk. Parents whose child needed frequent hospitalizations and physician attention also were found to be at risk for an imbalance of coping patterns. By determining which coping patterns are employed by parents, nurses can support current coping styles and facilitate the use of additional methods.


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