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Parenting in the face of childhood life-threatening conditions: The ordinary in the context of the extraordinary

  • Kim Mooney-Doyle (a1) and Janet A. Deatrick (a2)

Abstract

Objective:

Uncovering what it means to be a parent during the extraordinary time of a child's life-threatening condition (LTC) is important for understanding family goals, decision making, and the work of parenting within this context.

Method:

Qualitative descriptive methods were employed to describe the everyday experience of parenting both children who have an LTC and their healthy siblings.

Results:

Some 31 parents of 28 children with an LTC who have healthy siblings participated in our study. Four themes emerged from the data that describe a parental desire to maintain emotional connection with all of their children, how parents use cues from their children to know them better and develop parenting strategies, how parents change as a result of caring for a child with an LTC, and how they strive to decrease suffering for all of their children.

Significance of results:

The findings of our study have implications for clinical practice, family-focused research, and health policy pertaining to families of children with life-threatening conditions.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Kim Mooney-Doyle, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, 418 Curie Boulevard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104. E-mail: kemooney@nursing.upenn.edu.

References

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Parenting in the face of childhood life-threatening conditions: The ordinary in the context of the extraordinary

  • Kim Mooney-Doyle (a1) and Janet A. Deatrick (a2)

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