Coping mechanisms used by mothers when caring for their adolescent child with cerebral palsy.
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This study explores the coping mechanisms of mothers caring for adolescent children with cerebral palsy. This study attempted to address a gap in the literature pertaining to understanding negative and positive ways of coping related to mothers and the specific pr oblems they have to deal with when caring for adolescents with cerebral palsy . The qualitative study foc uses on experiences and feelings directly obtained from mothers and it looked at what coping mechanisms benefit mothers whilst they are caring for their adolescent child with cerebral p alsy, what factors could compromise the mother’s coping style and how adolescence impacts on the mother’s ways of coping. The research revealed that mothers tended to use either emotion - focused ways of coping which was more maladaptive, or problem - focused ways of coping which were more adaptive ways of coping. A number of coping mechanisms were identified which appeared to benefit mothers, some of these include obtaining support from the medical profession as well as obtaining so cial support. The findings illustrated that there were particular ‘poor’ facilitative factors that could compromise the mothers coping style. Facilitative factors either influenced mothers to use more problem - focused ways of coping or more emotion - focused ways of coping. It was found that both these ways of coping were link ed to different defenc e mechan isms. This study found that adolescence placed more stress on the mother since new issues relating to adolescence emerged and had to be managed. The implications of these findings for management and care of mothers in these situations are discussed. It i s hoped that the present findings will contribute to assisting clinicians in being able to focus on the important areas when working in this field.