Disease severity and knowledge: Relation to pain coping strategies in children with sickle cell disease and their parents

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

First Committee Member

F. Daniel Armstrong - Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Donald K. Routh - Committee Member


Clinical disease severity, knowledge, and parents' perception of disease severity were investigated to explain variance in parent and child pain coping strategies. Ninety parents of children with sickle cell disease completed a subjective rating of disease severity. Both parent and child completed a knowledge questionnaire and a pain coping measure. Research assistants independently completed the Clinical Disease Severity Index using information form the medical chart. The sample was divided into three age groups: pre-school children, pre-adolescents, and adolescents. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted for four outcome coping methods: problem and emotion-focused engagement and disengagement. Parent's knowledge accounted for 13--27% of the variance in parent's coping methods in pre-adolescents and adolescents. Parent's perception of disease severity accounted for 14% of the variability in emotion-focused engagement in pre-adolescents. Recent history of clinical disease severity accounted for 45% of the variance in emotion-focused disengagement in adolescents. Parent's coping accounted for 16--36% of the variance in child's coping for problem-focused disengagement in pre-adolescents and adolescents.


Psychology, Clinical; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies; Psychology, Cognitive; Psychology, Physiological

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