Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Influence of Family Resources and Coping Behaviors on Well-Being of African American and Caucasian Parents of School-Age Children with Asthma

Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Influence of Family Resources and Coping Behaviors on Well-Being of African American and Caucasian Parents of School-Age Children with Asthma

Article excerpt

Abstract: A descriptive cross-sectional study was designed to examine the influence of family resources and coping behaviors on the well-being of African American and Caucasian parents providing care to a school-age child with asthma. A convenience sample of 71 (33 African American and 38 Caucasian) parents of school-age children with asthma were recruited from two private medical practices and one school. Family resources were assessed using the Family Inventory of Resources for Management. Coping behaviors were assessed using the Coping Health Inventory for Parents and well-being was measured by the General Well-being Schedule. For both groups, the findings revealed family resources are significantly related to parental well-being. Also, coping behaviors were significantly related to the well-being of Caucasian parents. The results of this study support the literature related to the importance of resiliency factors such as family resources and coping behaviors on parental well-being.

Key Words: Family, Resources, Coping Behaviors, Well-Being, Asthma, Children

Background and Significance

In the United States, nine million children, under the age of 18 years, have asthma. This illness accounts for 14 million missed days of school each year (CDC, 2006). Although asthma affects all ethnic and socioeconomic groups, African Americans (AA) are disproportionately affected (Taylor & Newacheck 1992; Brown et al., 1997; CDC, 2006). Data from the National Health Interview Survey (CDC, 2006) found asthma to be more prevalent (11% and 9%) among AA children than among Caucasian children. Data also revealed that asthma morbidity is higher among males than females (Taylor & Newacheck, 1992; CDC, 2006). Morbidity was believed to be increased because of decreased access to health care. African American children are four times more likely to be hospitalized and five times more likely to die from asthma than Caucasian children. The disparity in asthma prevalence and treatment has been studied and include the following statistics. First, asthma prevalence is highest among Puerto Rican Americans (13.1%), followed by Native Americans (9.9%) and African Americans (9.5%). Second, asthma mortality for Caucasians increased from the 1980-1984 time period to 2000-2001 time period from 2.1 to 2.6 deaths per 1,000,000 population; during the same time, the mortality rate for African Americans increased from 9.9 to 13.2 deaths per 1,000,000 population (Gupta, Carrion-Carire, & Weiss, 2006). The difference between people of African and European origin points to the need for research contrasting people of different races.

Most previous research and interventions have been focused on the child with asthma rather than on the family. However, when one person in the family assumes the primary responsibility for the care of the child, a systems approach to understanding family functioning suggests that demands related to caregiving will affect the family as a unit. Caregiving is defined as managing the asthma condition and taking physical, emotional, and developmental care of the affected child, as well as caring for other members of the family (Svavarsdottir, McCubbin, & Kane, 2000). The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of family resources and coping behaviors on the well-being of parents providing care to a school-age child with asthma.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK

The Resiliency Model of Family Stress, Adjustment, and Adaptation provided the framework for this study (McCubbin & McCubbin, 1993, 1996). According to McCubbin and McCubbin (1993), families respond to stressful events in two phases: adjustment and adaptation. Family adjustment to a stressful event, such as having a child with asthma, depends on the family's ability to use protective or resiliency factors such as resources, coping, and problem solving to carry out tasks under stressful conditions. McCubbin and McCubbin (1993) defined coping behavior as the effort and resources families use to manage a stressor. …

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