• Quittner, Alexandra (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details


The purpose of the current study is to develop a measure of situation-
specific stressors and coping strategies for chronically ill children and
their parents. Prior research on stress an coping has been limited by the
use of poorly defined constructs and a failure to consider contextual
factors such as the severity of the stressor and the developmental tasks of
the individual and family. To ameliorate these inadequacies, the proposed
study will employ a situational analysis of the specific problems and
demands associated with chronic childhood illness and normal development.
The specific objectives of study 1 are: 1) to assess the problems and
coping behaviors of two developmental cohorts of children with cystic
fibrosis (CF) and their parents, 2) To develop empirically-derived ratings
of the effectiveness of specific coping strategies for particular problems,
and 3) To examine relationships among problem severity, choice of coping
strategies, and functional outcomes. Sixty children with CF (30 school age
and 30 adolescents) and their parents from Riley Hospital for Children,
Indiana University Medical Center and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh,
Pittsburgh University School of Medicine will participate in Study 1.
Structured interviews, daily diaries and standardized questionnaires will
be used to develop the inventory of problem situations. Ratings of the
competence of various coping strategies will be derived from judgments of
children with CF, parents, and health care professionals. Following
construction of the problem inventory and raters manual, Study 2 will
employ a two-wave longitudinal design with the following objectives: 1) To
assess the criterion-oriented validity of the measure, 2) To test the
mediating effects of coping behaviors on the frequency and severity of
specific problems and related outcomes, and 3) To assess the impact of
discrepancies in perception of stress and use of coping strategies among
family members. Sixty adolescents with CF and their parents from Riley
Hospital for Children will be asked to complete the problem inventory,
standardized questionnaires, and the Activity Pattern Indicators at two
points over a 6-8 month period. By linking problems directly to effective
coping behaviors for both the child and family, this study will provide the
basis for developing preventive behavioral interventions.
Effective start/end date8/1/918/31/03


  • National Institutes of Health: $537,825.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $111,158.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $535,894.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $456,538.00


  • Medicine(all)


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