Relationship of Family Coping with Head Injury to Family Adaptation

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Strategies families use to cope with a member's head injury and their relation to family adaptation were investigated. Participants were primary caregivers of persons with head injuries recruited through the Wisconsin Brain Trauma Association. Using cluster analysis, the following family coping variables were identified: (a) positive appraisal, (b) resource acquisition, (c) family tension management, (d) head injury demand reduction, and (e) acquiring social support. Stepwise multiple regression of these variables on family adaptation indicated that positive appraisal and family tension management were predictive of family adaptation. Thus the hypothesis that family adaptation can be predicted from variables measuring family coping with head injury was supported. Clinical, theoretical, and head injury family research implications are discussed.

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