n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Coping with stress : parents caring for children with special health needs

Supplement 1
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Parenting a child with special health care needs is a stressful situation that demands constructive coping strategies. The study explored the coping strategies that parents of children with special health care needs adopt in dealing with their child's condition. The study adopted qualitative exploratory design. Non-probability purposive and snowball sampling methods were adopted to recruit ten participants. Data were collected by means of unstructured face-to-face interviews and analysed through thematic content analysis. The study found that both parents are affected by the presence of the child with special health care needs and as a result they adopt similar, different or collaborative coping strategies that are either negative or positive in nature. It is concluded that even though having a child with special health care needs has an impact on fathers, mothers suffer most as primary carers who strive to keep the balance between caring for that child and normal children in the family. The study recommends that both parents should consider sharing responsibilities in support and caring for the child so to lessen the burden of caring for the children in the family.

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