Challenges and coping styles of fathers as primary medical caretakers: a multicultural qualitative study

J Psychosoc Oncol. 2010;28(2):202-17. doi: 10.1080/07347330903516902.


Research has focused heavily on mother's experiences of children with life-threatening illnesses. In contrast, fathers' experiences, especially among minorities, are scarcely discussed. This study examined the experiences of 15 fathers as primary medical caretakers of children diagnosed with cancer or sickle cell disease. Using a life story method, fathers completed semistructured interviews regarding their overall experiences. Data was analyzed using narrative analysis with multiple case studies. Results indicated single, low socioeconomic status, and immigrant fathers with limited English proficiencies were at highest risk for coping difficulties. This study also examined gender biases that men experienced and masculine norms in coping.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Ethnicity / psychology
  • Family Conflict
  • Father-Child Relations / ethnology*
  • Fathers / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Support
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States