Coping in Caregivers of Youth with Spinal Cord Injury

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This study examined coping among caregivers of youth with spinal cord injuries (SCI). Using a cross-sectional survey study design, 164 caregivers completed a demographics questionnaire and the Brief COPE. Their children, youth with SCI ages 7-18, completed the Kidcope. T-tests were conducted to examine differences in caregiver coping by demographic and injury-related factors. Further, logistic regression models were evaluated to examine predictive relationships between caregiver coping and youth coping. Several demographic and injury-related factors were related to caregiver coping, including caregiver gender, race, and education, as well as youth gender, age at injury, and time since injury. In the logistic regressions, two caregiver coping strategies were related to youth coping: caregiver self-blame coping was related to youth self-criticism, and caregiver behavioral disengagement coping (giving up attempts to cope) was related to youth blaming others coping. The findings suggest that caregiver coping may play a role in the coping of their children, and should be considered when addressing coping among youth with SCI.

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