Journal article

Psychological trajectories of mothers and fathers following their child's diagnosis of a life-threatening illness or injury: A longitudinal investigation

Simone J Darling, Stephen JC Hearps, Frank Muscara, Maria McCarthy, Jan M Nicholson, Kylie Burke, Anica Dimovski, Vicki Anderson

Journal of Clinical Psychology | WILEY | Published : 2019

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Explore the mental health trajectories of parents following their child's life-threatening illness/injury. METHODS: Participants were 217 parents (mean age: 34.9-40.0; 66 fathers) of 165 children who presented to a tertiary hospital with a life-threatening illness/injury. Parents completed questionnaires about their mental health and psychosocial stressors within 4 weeks of the child's illness/injury (T1), and 4 months (T2), 7 months (T3), and 19 months (T4) postdiagnosis. RESULTS: For both mothers and fathers, mental health symptoms were elevated at diagnosis declining to normal levels by T3, with a pattern of increase at T4. Fathers demonstrated a faster decline in symptoms betw..

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