How Parents Cope With the Experience of Neonatal Intensive Care

Mary Alayne Hughes, Jeanette McCollum, David Sheftel, George Sanchez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thirty-two mothers and 25 fathers described their coping efforts during the initial weeks of their pretenn infants' hospitalization in a neonatal intensive care unit. Utilizing procedures developed by Lazarus and Folkman (1984) in which coping is linked with a specific stressful event, parents reported what they did to cope with the stressor they perceived to be the most stressful. They also completed the Ways of Coping Questionnaire (Folkman & Lazarus, 1988). Results showed that there were similarities and differences in the types of coping strategies used by mothers and fathers. In addition, factors such as neonatal morbidity and appraisal of control were differentially associated with the use of certain types of coping strategies. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalChildren's Health Care
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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