Date of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Bonnie Harbaugh

Committee Chair School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 2

Janie Butts

Committee Member 2 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 3

Amy Spurlock

Committee Member 4

Lachel Story

Committee Member 4 School

Leadership and Advanced Nursing Practice

Committee Member 5

Elizabeth Tinnon

Committee Member 5 School

Professional Nursing Practice


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a prominent chronic illness in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016) estimated that one child out of every 365 African-American births will have SCD, affecting approximately 100,000 Americans. Supporting and promoting the integrity of the family and its’ members when a child has SCD is important for each family member’s well-being. Specific family characteristics, such as resilience and coping are important to understand because they can mitigate stress and create positive family outcomes (Brown et al., 1993; Cousino & Hazen, 2013; Hildenbrand, Barakat, Alderfer, & Marsac, 2015; O’Hanlon, Camic, & Shearer, 2012; Oliver-Carpenter, Barach, Crosby, Valenzuela, & Mitchell, 2011; Windle, 2010). The relationship between resilience and coping is one of great research interest in patients and families living with chronic health conditions. Research on resilience indicates it is a dynamic process that is multidimensional, indicating variation among different populations (Luthar, Cicchetti, & Becker, 2000). The literature review revealed gaps in this research interest involving mothers caring for children with SCD.

The purpose of this study was to examine the variables that may influence coping in mothers caring for a child or children with SCD and to determine if resilience contributes to coping. The resiliency model of family stress, adjustment, and adaptation (McCubbin & McCubbin, 1993) was the theoretical framework of the study. Findings are intended to assist healthcare professionals in supporting resilience interventions to produce positive outcomes. This study utilized a nonexperimental exploratory correlational design to determine variable relationships in the study population. This study was conducted online using Qualtrics. Participants were mothers, over the age of 18, caring for a child or children with SCD. The participants were a representative sample (N=108) from regional SCD support group agencies. Data were collected and analyzed from the participants’ self-reported responses to the researcher developed demographic questions and two situational variable questions, the Connor-Davidson Resilience Scale (CD-RISC), and the Coping Health Inventory for Parents (CHIP).

Study findings indicate the strong positive relationship between resilience and coping. The mothers’ responses to the situational variables, stress level and how sick their child is, were also significant in predicting resilience and coping in the study population. The findings of this study allow the researcher to predict one’s coping score based on their resilience score. Interventions implemented by healthcare professionals to increase resilience in the study population can likewise increase coping and overall well-being of the entire family when caring for a child with a chronic illness such as SCD.

Included in

Nursing Commons