Challenges, coping and resilience in caring for children with disability among immigrant parents: A mixed methods study

Ethar Alsharaydeh, Muhammad Alqudah, Regina Lee, Sally Chan

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    Abstract

    Aims: To examine the relationships between challenges, coping and resilience among immigrant parents caring for their children with disabilities; and to explore their coping and resilient experiences and the service centre providers' perspectives on these. Design: A sequential explanatory mixed methods study. Methods: The participants were recruited from seven centres of disability service in Australia between May 2019 and February 2020. Phase 1 consisted of a cross-sectional survey. Data were collected from 134 immigrant parents. Phase 2 consisted of semi-structured interviews. Data were collected from nine immigrant parents and nine service providers. The findings from each phase were analysed separately and then integrated to answer the research aims. Results: Immigrant parents experienced challenges such as overwhelming caretaking responsibilities, lack of supportive social networks and feeling embarrassment over their children's behaviours. They used a variety of coping strategies, including reframing and mobilizing family to acquire and accept help from others to overcome their challenges. They had positive gains from the parental experience. Immigrant parents had a reasonable level of resilience. Those with a higher level of perceived challenges had a lower level of coping and resilience. Perceived barriers to parental coping included barriers to establishing social networks and utilizing available disability services. Services from competent service providers and the availability of social support networks were factors facilitating immigrant parents' coping. Conclusion: Sensitive communication and culturally appropriate care provided by service providers and healthcare professionals can facilitate service utilization and reduce perceived stigma over children with disability. Impact: Findings from the study support that special training provided to healthcare providers about the challenges of immigrant parents raising children with disabilities may enhance awareness of the experience of these parents. Information and instrumental support may help to enhance parental coping, reduce isolation and promote their mental health. Patient or Public Contribution: We thank the immigrant parents and the service providers who have been instrumental in the conception of this study.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2360-2377
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
    Volume79
    Issue number6
    Early online date22 Dec 2022
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Dec 2022

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