The purpose of the study was to identify bidirectional and longitudinal links between attributions, coping, and health functioning among adolescents with chronic illness and their parents. Religious/spiritual coping, attributional styles, and health functioning were assessed among adolescents with chronic illness at two time points approximately 21 months apart. Parental coping and attributions at both time points were also measured. Longitudinal links between variables were tested using an autoregressive cross-lagged path model; adolescent age and disease differences were evaluated via multigroup modeling. Poorer adolescent health functioning at baseline predicted higher use of parent optimistic attributional style at follow-up. Adolescent optimistic attributional style at baseline predicted more positive and less negative religious/spiritual coping at follow-up; adolescent negative religious/spiritual coping at baseline predicted more positive religious/spiritual coping at follow-up. Parent optimistic attributional style and positive religious/spiritual coping at baseline predicted the same constructs among adolescents at follow-up. With respect to age differences, parental negative religious/spiritual coping at baseline was associated with poorer health functioning among younger, but not older, adolescents at follow-up. There were no disease differences in the model. Important links were identified in this family-based model of coping, attributions, and health functioning. The results highlight specific targets for interventions to improve health functioning and coping among adolescents with chronic illness, including parental religious/spiritual coping and adolescent attributional style.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Benore, E., Pargament, K. I., & Pendleton, S. (2008). An initial examination of religious coping in children with asthma. International Journal for the Psychology of Religion, 18(4), 267–290.
Burke, J. D., Pardini, D. A., & Loeber, R. (2008). Reciprocal relationships between parenting behavior and disruptive psychopathology from childhood through adolescence. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 36(5), 679–692.
Cardella, L. A., & Friedlander, M. L. (2004). The relationship between religious coping and psychological distress in parents of children with cancer. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 22(1), 19–37.
Carpentier, M. Y., Mullins, L. L., Wolfe-Christensen, C., & Chaney, J. M. (2008). The relationship of parent self-focused negative attributions to ratings of parental overprotection, perceived child vulnerability, and parenting stress. Families, Systems, & Health, 26(2), 147–163.
Cole, D. A., Ciesla, J. A., Dallaire, D. H., Jacquez, F. M., Pineda, A. Q., LaGrange, B., … Felton, J. W. (2008). Emergence of attributional style and its relation to depressive symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117(1), 16–31.
Connell, J. P. (1985). A new multidimensional measure of children’s perceptions of control. Child Development, 56(4), 1018–1041.
Cotton, S., Grossoehme, D., Rosenthal, S., McGrady, M., Roberts, Y., Hines, J., … Tsevat, J. (2009). Religious/spiritual coping in adolescents with sickle cell disease: A pilot study. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, 31(5), 313–318.
Cotton, S., Pargament, K. I., Weekes, J. C., McGrady, M. E., Grossoehme, D., Luberto, C. M., … Fitchett, G. (2013). Spiritual struggles, health-related quality of life, and mental health outcomes in urban adolescents with asthma. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 24, 259–280.
Cotton, S., Puchalski, C. M., Sherman, S. N., Mrus, J. M., Peterman, A. H., Feinberg, J., … Tsevat, J. (2006). Spirituality and religion in patients with HIV/AIDS. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 21, S5–S13.
Cousino, M. K., & Hazen, R. A. (2013). Parenting stress among caregivers of children with chronic illness: A systematic review. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 38(8), 809–828.
Gibb, B. E., Alloy, L. B., Walshaw, P. D., Comer, J. S., Shen, G. H. C., & Villari, A. G. (2006). Predictors of attributional style change in children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 34(3), 425–439.
Granger, D. A., Weisz, J. R., & Kauneckis, D. (1994). Neuroendocrine reactivity, internalizing behavior problems, and control-related cognitions in clinic-referred children and adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103(2), 267–276.
Grossoehme, D. H., & Fitchett, G. (2013). Testing the validity of a protocol to screen for spiritual struggle among parents of children with cystic fibrosis. Research in the Social Scientific Study of Religion, 24, 281–307.
Grossoehme, D. H., Opipari-Arrigan, L., VanDyke, R., Thurmond, S., & Seid, M. (2012). Relationship of adherence determinants and parental spirituality in cystic fibrosis. Pediatric Pulmonology, 47(6), 558–566.
Grossoehme, D. H., Ragsdale, J. R., Snow, A., & Seid, M. (2012). We were chosen as a family: Parents’ evolving use of religion when their child has cystic fibrosis. Journal of Religion and Health, 51(4), 1347–1358.
Grossoehme, D. H., Szczesniak, R., Dodd, C., & Opipari-Arrigan, L. (2014). Dyadic adjustment and spiritual activities in parents of children with cystic fibrosis. Religions, 5(2), 385–401.
Grossoehme, D. H., Szczesniak, R., McPhail, G. L., & Seid, M. (2013). Is adolescents’ religious coping with cystic fibrosis associated with the rate of decline in pulmonary function?—A preliminary study. Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, 19(1), 33–42.
Grossoehme, D. H., Szczesniak, R. D., Britton, L. L., Siracusa, C. M., Quittner, A. L., Chini, B. A., … Seid, M. (2015). Adherence determinants in cystic fibrosis: Cluster analysis of parental psychosocial, religious, and/or spiritual factors. Ann Am Thorac Soc, 12(6), 838–846.
Guion, K., & Mrug, S. (2012). The role of parental and adolescent attributions in adjustment of adolescents with chronic illness. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 19(3), 262–269.
Hill, P. C., Pargament, K. I. I., Hood, R. W., McCullough, M. E. Jr., Swyers, J. P., Larson, D. B., & Zinnbauer, B. J. (2000). Conceptualizing religion and spirituality: Points of commonality, points of departure. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 30, 51–77.
Hilliard, M. E., Monaghan, M., Cogen, F. R., & Streisand, R. (2011). Parent stress and child behaviour among young children with type 1 diabetes. Child: Care, Health and Development, 37(2), 224–232.
Meeus, W. (2016). Adolescent psychosocial development: A review of longitudinal models and research. Developmental Psychology, 52(12), 1969–1993.
Moreira, H., Carona, C., Silva, N., Frontini, R., Bullinger, M., & Canavarro, M. C. (2013). Psychological and quality of life outcomes in pediatric populations: A parent-child perspective. The Journal of Pediatrics, 163(5), 1471–1478.
Mullins, L. L., Chaney, J. M., Pace, T. M., & Hartman, V. L. (1997). Illness uncertainty, attributional style, and psychological adjustment in older adolescents and young adults with asthma. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 22(6), 871–880.
Pargament, K., Feuille, M., & Burdzy, D. (2011). The Brief RCOPE: Current psychometric status of a short measure of religious coping. Religions, 2(4), 51–76.
Pargament, K. I. (2002). Is religion nothing but … Explaining religion versus explaining religion away. Psychological Inquiry, 13(3), 239–244.
Pargament, K. I., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. M. (2000). The many methods of religious coping: Development and initial validation of the RCOPE. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 56(4), 519–543.
Pargament, K. I., Smith, B. W., Koenig, H. G., & Perez, L. (1998). Patterns of positive and negative religious coping with major life stressors. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 37(4), 710–724.
Peterson, C., Semmel, A., Baeyer, C., Abramson, L. Y., Metalsky, G. I., & Seligman, M. E. P. (1982). The attributional style questionnaire. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 6(3), 287–300.
Piderman, K. M., Breitkopf, C. R., Jenkins, S. M., Lapid, M. I., Kwete, G. M., Sytsma, T. T., … Jatoi, A. (2017). The impact of a spiritual legacy intervention in patients with brain cancers and other neurologic illnesses and their support persons. Psycho-Oncology, 26(3), 346–353.
Pinquart, M., & Shen, Y. (2011). Behavior problems in children and adolescents with chronic physical illness: A meta-analysis. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 36(9), 1003–1016.
Plomin, R., Scheier, M. F., Bergeman, C. S., Pedersen, N. L., Nesselroade, J. R., & McClearn, G. E. (1992). Optimism, pessimism and mental health: A twin/adoption analysis. Personality and Individual Differences, 13(8), 921–930.
Reynolds, N., Mrug, S., Britton, L., Guion, K., Wolfe, K., & Guitierrez, H. (2014). Spiritual coping predicts 5-year health outcomes in adolescents with cystic fibrosis. Journal of Cystic Fibrosis, 13(5), 593–600.
Reynolds, N., Mrug, S., & Guion, K. (2012). Spiritual coping and psychosocial adjustment of adolescents with chronic illness: The role of cognitive attributions, age, and disease group. Journal of Adolescent Health, 52(5), 559–565.
Reynolds, N., Mrug, S., Hensler, M., Guion, K., & Madan-Swain, A. (2014). Spiritual coping and adjustment in adolescents with chronic illness: A 2-year prospective study. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 39(5), 542–551.
Roesch, S. C., & Weiner, B. (2001). A meta-analytic review of coping with illness: Do causal attributions matter? Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 50(4), 205–219.
Shaheen, F., & Alam, M. S. (2010). Psychological distress and its relation to attributional styles and coping strategies among adolescents. Journal of the Indian Academy of Applied Psychology, 36(2), 231–238.
Spangenberg, J. J., & Lategan, T. P. (1993). Coping, androgyny, and attributional style. South African Journal of Psychology, 23(4), 195–203.
Steck, B., Amsler, F., Kappos, L., & Bürgin, D. (2001). Gender-specific differences in the process of coping in families with a parent affected by a chronic somatic disease (e.g. multiple sclerosis). Psychopathology, 34(5), 236–244.
Stevens, E. A., & Prinstein, M. J. (2005). Peer contagion of depressogenic attributional styles among adolescents: A longitudinal study. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 33(1), 25–27.
Tarakeshwar, N., Pearce, M. J., & Sikkema, K. J. (2005). Development and implementation of a spiritual coping group intervention for adults living with HIV/AIDS: A pilot study. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 8(3), 179–190.
Thompson, R. J. Jr., & Gustafson, K. E. (1996). Adaptation to chronic childhood illness. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Turk, E., & Bry, B. H. (1992). Adolescents’ and parents’ explanatory styles and parents’ causal explanations about their adolescents. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 16(3), 349–357.
Varni, J. W., Limbers, C., & Burwinkle, T. M. (2007). Literature review: Health-related quality of life measurement in pediatric oncology: Hearing the voices of the children. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 32(9), 1151–1163.
Weisz, J. R. (1986). Contingency and control beliefs as predictors of psychotherapy outcomes among children and adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54(6), 789–795.
Zelikovsky, N., Schast, A. P., & Jean-Francois, D. (2007). Parent stress and coping: Waiting for a child to receive a kidney transplant. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 14(4), 320–329.
This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (Grant Number 1450078) awarded to the first author.
Conflict of interest
The authors Christina M. D’Angelo, Sylvie Mrug, Daniel Grossoehme, David C. Schwebel, Nina Reynolds, and Kimberly Guion Reynolds declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
D’Angelo, C.M., Mrug, S., Grossoehme, D. et al. Coping, Attributions, and Health Functioning Among Adolescents with Chronic Illness and Their Parents: Reciprocal Relations Over Time. J Clin Psychol Med Settings 26, 495–506 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10880-018-9597-0
- Religious/spiritual coping
- Attributional style
- Chronic illness