Adaptation in Families Of Children with Developmental Disabilities from The Parents’ Perspective

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

This research used a combined qualitative/quantitative approach to explore constructs that parents considered essential to successful coping with a child with developmental disabilities. Method. 58 parents (29 couples) participated in open-ended interviewing to describe their adaptation process, and also completed quantitative assessments of stress and depression. Analysis. Employing a grounded theory methodology, researchers coded interview transcripts and identified four main elements, coping, communication, support, and disruption that emerged as important contributors to the broad theoretical category of daily survival skills. These constructs were then transformed into quantitative global scores, which were statistically analyzed to determine their relationships to the standardized measures. Results. General linear modeling equations that predicted 24% of the variance for depression and 47% of the variance for stress implicated qualitatively derived variables of coping, communication, and disruption. Conclusion. A combined qualitative-quantitative methodological approach provides the possibility of richer, more particularistic interpretation of quantitative findings.

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