Success in parenting children with developmental disabilities: Some characteristics, attitudes and adaptive coping skills

Wai Ping Cecilia Tsang, M. K.S. Yau, Hon Kong Yuen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to find the coping mechanisms of parents having children with disabilities. Ten parents were identified as having positive coping behaviours. A semi-structured interview was conducted with them and the discussion was transcribed. A qualitative analysis was conducted and several themes were obtained from the interview. It was found that parents with positive adaptive behaviours have a relatively high education level. They have a stable family structure with little financial difficulties. They have a simple family structure consisting of both parents and at least one sibling living with the child with disabilities. These parents are usually outgoing, confident and efficient in time management. It was also found that strong spousal relationships appear to be the main factor attributing success in coping. As well as the family structure, these parents have open attitudes and are highly motivated to search for a local network and social support for their children. They treasured more the education of their children and value their progress. Although they have worries about the future of their children, they would try to resolve problems in a realistic manner. They would seek help and advice from the spouse and close family members. At times, they would also seek help from other parents in the support group and in return, they would offer their advice and help to those who needed it. They also gain satisfaction from helping relationships, thus reinforcing them to continue their active participation in the parent groups and sustain their positive attitudes and coping mechanisms towards their children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Developmental Disabilities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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