Journal of Behavioral Health and Psychology. 1970; 3(1):(95-322)


An exploratory study of socio-emotional experience and coping in mothers of cleft lip and palate children

Anisha Juneja, Akanksha Juneja

Abstract

The aim of the present study was to understand the emotional and social experience of mothers of children with a congenital cleft lip and palate condition including an assessment the coping responses employed in dealing with the stressful condition. The research was designed primarily in the qualitative mode because it caters to a subjective experiential realm of the mothers. The participants were 14 housewife mothers with their affected child in the age range of 0 to 5 years residing in Delhi and its outskirts through purposive sampling. The measures included an Interview Schedule designed specifically for the study and Coping Responses Inventory Adult Form. The interviews were transcribed and thematically analysed. The results show that most mothers experienced disbelief and denial with gradual acceptance of child as destiny but associated with physical and financial stresses. Presence of good social support resulted in attributing the cause to external factors and improved the quality of life. But the gender constructions produced differential anticipated consequences for a cleft affected girl compared to a boy. Avoidance coping responses were observed to be observed primarily. The study has mental health implications. Interventions need to be developed to help parents deal with the impact the social stigmatization and physical concerns of the cleft lip and palate condition.

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