Center for Injury Research and Prevention

A Prospective Examination of Child Avoidance Coping and Parental Coping Assistance After Pediatric Injury: A Mixed-Methods Approach.

TitleA Prospective Examination of Child Avoidance Coping and Parental Coping Assistance After Pediatric Injury: A Mixed-Methods Approach.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsJones AC, Kassam-Adams N, Ciesla JA, Barakat LP, Marsac ML
JournalJ Pediatr Psychol
Date Published03/2019
Type of Articlejournal
ISSN1465-735X
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Millions of children experience injuries annually, and avoidance coping increases risk of negative emotional and physical outcomes after injury. Little is known about how children select avoidance coping strategies. Parents may help their children cope with an injury by encouraging or discouraging the use of specific strategies, such as avoidance coping. The present study examined parental influence of child use of avoidance coping post-injury.

METHODS: Children ages 8-13 (65% male; 50% White) hospitalized for pediatric injury and their parents (N = 96 child-parent dyads) participated in an interview and discussion task about coping at baseline, and then completed coping/coping assistance measures at three time points: T1 (within 2 weeks post-injury), T2 (6-weeks post-injury), and T3 (12-weeks post-injury).

RESULTS: When presented with an ambiguous situation in the observational interview and discussion task, the number of avoidance coping solutions offered by children independently as well as during a discussion with their parent predicted the child's ultimate avoidance versus non-avoidance coping choice. The number of avoidance coping solutions offered by parents did not predict children's final choice to use avoidance coping. Longitudinal data suggest that parent encouragement of avoidance coping predicted child avoidance coping within the first 6-weeks post-trauma.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that child avoidance coping is multifaceted and may result from both parent encouragement as well as independent decisions by children. Future research may explore additional factors that influence child avoidance coping, outside of parental suggestion, in response to trauma exposure.

DOI10.1093/jpepsy/jsz016
Alternate JournalJ Pediatr Psychol
PubMed ID30925586