Given the high symptom burden and low survivability of lung cancer, patients and their spouses have been found to experience worse mental health. The current study examined the roles of dyadic appraisal and dyadic coping on the mental health of 78 couples living with non-small cell lung cancer. Multilevel modeling revealed that spouses, on average, reported significantly worse mental health than patients. Dyadic appraisal and dyadic coping played important roles in predicting mental health, controlling for known developmental and contextual covariates. Dyadic appraisal of the patient’s pain and fatigue was significantly associated with spouse mental health, albeit in opposite directions. Dyadic coping significantly predicted patient mental health. The study underlines the need to incorporate routine screening of both patient and spouse mental health and highlights the complex role of appraisal within the couple in a life-threatening context.
The purpose of this report is to describe caregiving by teens for family members with Huntington disease (HD). Thirty-two teens in HD families in the United States and Canada participated in focus groups from 2002 to 2005 in a study to identify concerns and strategies to manage concerns. An unexpected finding was 24 (77%) described caregiving activities. Descriptive analysis of caregiving statements identified themes of Tasks and Responsibilities, Subjective Burden, Caregiving in Context of Personal Risk for HD, and Decisional Responsibility. Teens took an active part in nearly all aspects of care with the exception of contacting health care providers and attending doctors’ appointments. Some described emotional distress, and many provided care knowing they had the potential to develop HD. Teens recognized the need for decisions but lacked the authority to make these decisions. Findings may be relevant for other teens who strive to meet caregiver and student roles and developmental tasks.
Homelessness threatens the health and well-being of thousands of families in the United States, yet little is known about their specific needs and how current services address them. To fill this knowledge gap, we explored the experiences of homelessness families in Detroit, Michigan. We targeted homeless mothers and their caseworkers for study to see if the perceptions of needs and services were in alignment. Using focus groups and content analysis, we identified four overarching themes that illustrate homeless mothers' experience with homelessness. We then analyzed data from caseworkers to look specifically for similarities and differences in their perceptions. Key findings included reports of family histories of violence, poverty, social isolation, and a lack of informal support as contributing to homelessness. The differing perspectives of mothers and their caseworkers regarding how best to move forward highlight how current programs and services may not be meeting the needs of this growing and vulnerable cohort.
Adolescents with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD), including oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, present unique challenges for their families. Although, most empirically supported treatments for DBD are family-based, the emphasis is typically on the behavior of the child rather than on the life challenges and resultant distress experienced by the family members. Fifteen families of adolescents with DBD were recruited from a large publicly funded Community Mental Health Center. For this report, data from in-depth interviews with the adolescents’ primary caregivers were analyzed by standard content analytic procedures to describe the challenges they experienced living with and caring for the adolescents. The primary caregivers reported that the challenges were overwhelming, demanding, and unrelenting. The two most salient challenges were (a) managing the adolescents’ aggressive, defiant, and deceitful behaviors, and (b) interacting frequently with a number of child-serving agencies. A number of clinical implications are drawn from these findings.
Maternal postpartum depression (PPD) and mother-infant relationship dysfunction have reciprocal effects on each other and thus an integrated approach that addresses both problems simultaneously may lead to improved outcomes. This study aimed to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of a new intervention, Perinatal Dyadic Psychotherapy (PDP), for the early treatment of maternal PPD. PDP is designed to promote maternal mental health and facilitate optimal mother-infant relationships via (a) a supportive, relationship-based, mother-infant psychotherapeutic component, and (b) a developmentally-based infant-oriented component focused on promoting positive mother-infant interactions. This paper describes the pilot use of PDP with six acutely depressed postpartum women. Nurses delivered the intervention over eight home visits. Results indicate that PDP is a feasible, acceptable, and safe intervention with this population. All participants achieved remission of depression with significant reduction in of depression and anxiety symptoms, suggesting that PDP is a promising treatment for PPD.
The goal of this study was to explore the cultural meaning of parent-child communication behaviors in inner-city children at risk for common behavioral problems. Following participation in a preventive intervention called Insights Into Children's Temperament, 40 parents of first- and second-grade children were interviewed. The data were analyzed using a constant comparative method derived from grounded-theory techniques. Findings indicate that a complex communication process was used by parents with their at-risk inner-city school-age children. The immediacy of safety concerns for the child, the child's temperament, and the current parental state informed the choice of communication behaviors chosen by the parent. The ultimate goal of communication for these participants was to equip their children with tools to assist them to safely navigate their school and community environments. Participants also offered several recommendations that could be useful for practitioners and researchers to incorporate into their work with inner-city families.
The purpose of this project was to examine parents' descriptions of the ways family and friends supported them after they had experienced a perinatal loss. For this project, a secondary analysis of data from two phenomenological studies on perinatal loss was performed. A combined total of 62 interview transcripts from 22 mothers and 9 fathers were examined. Data analysis included identifying all statements in the interview transcripts that pertained to the ways that family and friends supported parents. The modes of supportive behavior (emotional, advice/feedback, practical, financial, and socializing) in Vaux's theory of social support served as a useful framework for presenting the findings. Parents received emotional support most frequently. Findings from the current study provide data for health care professionals to use to provide guidance to family and friends of bereaved parents.