Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

First Advisor

Bill Anderson


Parents of children with chronic illnesses face many stressors on multiple fronts as a result of their child's care needs. Posttraumatic growth is positive psychological outcomes of stress for those who have experienced a traumatic event, such as the diagnosis of a child with a chronic illness. While much is known about the challenges of caring for a child with a chronic condition, there is little research on these parent's growth outcomes. Of the research that does exist, much focuses on internal predictors of posttraumatic growth, such as personality characteristics. The purpose of this study is to begin to investigate the connections between community belonging and the posttraumatic growth experiences of parents of children with chronic illnesses. This study was conducted using both quantitative analysis with the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (PTGI; Tedeschi & Calhoun, 1996) and the Perceived Community Support Questionnaire (PCSQ; Herreo & Garcia, 2007), which were completed by parents, and qualitative analysis of child life specialists' observations of the role of creating community within the hospital and parents' growth experiences. While total PTGI and PCSQ scores were not significantly correlated, correlations between the community integration dimension of the PCSQ and certain factors of the PTGI suggests that greater community integration is positively related to new possibilities, personal strength, and appreciation of life. Child life specialists' responses suggested that creating community through hospital programming contributes to parents' growth experiences.


Imported from ProQuest Gannon_ilstu_0092N_10339.pdf


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