How Children Cope With a Brain Injured Parent? an Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
1National University Of Political Studies And Public Administration, Romania
2Universitätsklinikum Hambrug-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
Background: A severely ill person has to cope with medical proce¬dures, declines in socio-economic status, and the direct threat to his/her life. If this person is a parent, the consequences of these stressor factors may result in a lasting distortion of the children's social and emotional development. The purpose of this study of families where a parent has an acute brain injury was to present an in-depth, idiographic study of the coping strategies used by children. Methods: Thirty-two counseling sessions (8 children) were analyzed and the resultant transcripts subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis. Findings: Several themes emerged in the analysis and are discussed here: “closeness strategies”, “avoidance strategies”, “gender and age specific differences”. Discussion: The results points to the importance of developing counselling possibilities focused on facilitating factual as well as emotional communication within the family, empowering the parenting function of the healthy parent, and helping children in sharing their worries and thoughts.