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The Role of Parents in Promoting Children’s Adjustment to Chronic Illness

Abstract

This chapter summarizes the role that parents play in promoting positive adjustment and resilience for children with chronic health conditions. The chapter describes parent–child processes that have been shown to foster children’s positive adjustment, both within and beyond the medical setting. Parents can promote adjustment by preparing their child for procedures in a developmentally appropriate manner and can reduce the child’s distress during uncomfortable medical procedures via distracting activities and shielding the child from parental distress associated with the procedure. Parents play a crucial role in promoting their child’s competence in managing medical regimens by transferring responsibility of medical care to their child in a way that fits the child’s developmental capacity and in a way that minimizes family conflict. Parents also facilitate the development of autonomy and social competence by minimizing overprotection and over involvement, creating opportunities for peer interactions, minimizing school absences, and by generally promoting normalcy. Pediatric chronic pain conditions are discussed as an illustrative example of the multiple ways in which parents can promote resilience and positive adjustment.

Keywords

  • Resilience
  • Parenting
  • Chronic pain
  • Positive adjustment
  • Adherence
  • Autonomy development
  • Social competence
  • Medical procedures

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Correspondence to Jessica Hoehn M.A. .

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Hoehn, J., Foxen-Craft, E., Pinder, W., Dahlquist, L.M. (2016). The Role of Parents in Promoting Children’s Adjustment to Chronic Illness. In: DeMichelis, C., Ferrari, M. (eds) Child and Adolescent Resilience Within Medical Contexts. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32223-0_6

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