Primary objective: To examine parental coping following an acquired brain injury of their child, the relationship between maternal and paternal coping, and the extent to which social support and family environment affect parental coping.
Research design: A cross-sectional design was used.
Methods and procedures: Parents (n = 30) of children with acquired brain injury provided relevant demographic data and completed questionnaires investigating coping, social support and perceptions of family environment.
Main outcomes and results: Perception-focused coping strategies were used most often by parents. Mothers had a more extensive repertoire than fathers, and the relationship between maternal and paternal coping appeared to be complementary. Relationships were found between emotion-focused coping and instrumental support (r = 0.39) and perception-focused coping and family cohesion (r = 0.37).
Conclusions: Recognizing parental coping styles, enhancing the development of positive strategies, and underscoring the importance of social support and the family environment will assist parents to cope positively with their child's acquired brain injury.