CONTENT ANALYSIS DERIVATION OF THE COPING STRATEGIES OF THE PARENTS OF THE RETARDED

WANDA ANNE ADAMIAK GROCHOWSKI, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to identify the strategies used by parents to cope with their retarded children. Coping strategies were defined as those ongoing, adaptive processes utilized by parents in response to the stress of rearing a mentally deficient child.^ The method used was content analysis, a technique for making inferences by systematically and objectively identifying specific characteristics within text. The data studied were 57 books and articles written by parents of the retarded; the professional articles concerning mental retardation; and 14 books and articles written by parents of nonhandicapped children.^ Content analyses were carried out independently on all three data sources to derive coping strategies from these texts. In each case, a small random sample of data was first read for inferences regarding parental coping and each unique reference to coping was compiled into a list of strategies, which were analyzed for similarity of theme and grouped into content categories. Using the perspective of these categories and strategies, first the smaller, then the larger sample of books and articles were re-read and coded. A numerical count was made to determine the percentage of occurrence of the categories, and percentage of utilization of strategies by the parents of normal and retarded children and by the professional authors.^ The analysis of the research literature yielded 10 content categories, encompassing 30 derived strategies of positive coping, and 5 categories containing 27 poor coping strategies. When the writings of the parents of the retarded were analyzed, 12 categories of coping were identified containing 77 strategies. Eleven categories described positive coping, and one contained reference to maladaptive strategies. For the parents of normal children, there were 6 categories of positive coping (26 strategies) and 4 categories of poor coping (15 strategies).^ The categories and strategies as derived from the writings of the parents of the retarded were compared to those generated independently from the professional literature and from the works of the parents of normal children. Additionally, poor coping strategies attributed to parents of the retarded by the professional authors were re-evaluated in terms of the results of the present study. ^

Subject Area

Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

GROCHOWSKI, WANDA ANNE ADAMIAK, "CONTENT ANALYSIS DERIVATION OF THE COPING STRATEGIES OF THE PARENTS OF THE RETARDED" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8213606.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8213606

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