Affordable Access

deepdyve-link
Publisher Website

Adaptive and maladaptive forms of disengagement coping in caregivers of children with chronic illnesses.

Authors
  • Waugh, Christian E1
  • Leslie-Miller, Calissa J1
  • Shing, Elaine Z2
  • Furr, R Michael1
  • Nightingale, Chandylen L3
  • McLean, Thomas W4
  • 1 Department of Psychology, Wake Forest University, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA.
  • 2 Atrium Health, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA.
  • 3 Department of Social Sciences and Health Policy, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA.
  • 4 Department of Pediatrics, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, North Carolina, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
Stress and health : journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress
Publication Date
Apr 01, 2021
Volume
37
Issue
2
Pages
213–222
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/smi.2985
PMID: 32946684
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Caregivers of children with chronic illnesses experience elevated stress and reduced self-care. Although self-care can be beneficial, it is a form of disengagement coping, disengaging from the stressor to try and feel better, which has been characterized as a maladaptive coping strategy. In this study, we test the formulation that avoidance, avoiding the stressor and any thoughts related to it, is a maladaptive disengagement coping strategy, whereas distraction, taking a break from the stressor to do something pleasant, is an adaptive disengagement coping strategy. We assessed these strategies as well as psychosocial outcomes and trait predictors in caregivers of children with chronic illnesses. Results showed that those high in avoidance coping reported lower well-being, higher depression and higher stress. Alternatively, when controlling for avoidance, those high in distraction reported higher well-being, lower depression and lower stress. In addition, distraction exhibited strong relationships to increased positive emotions during caregiving situations and was associated with positive personality traits. These results suggest that not all disengagement coping strategies are equal; although avoidance may be a maladaptive strategy, distraction can be an effective positive emotional strategy for coping with the chronic stress of caregiving for a child with a chronic illness. © 2020 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times