Coping humor and family functioning in parents of children with disabilities.Rehabil Psychol. 2013 Feb;58(1):89-97
Authors: Rieger A, McGrail JP
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to investigate whether coping humor predicted certain measures of family functioning in parents of children with disabilities.
METHOD: Seventy-two parents of children diagnosed primarily with autism spectrum disorders and multiple disabilities completed the Coping Humor Scale (CHS) and Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scales (FACES IV). The FACES IV measures two major dimensions of family functioning: cohesion and flexibility. The CHS measures the degree to which participants use humor to cope with stressful experiences in their lives. Optimal functioning of the family is theorized to be based on a balanced level of both cohesion and flexibility. In the present study, coping humor was hypothesized to predict balanced cohesion as well as balanced flexibility. The data were analyzed using single and hierarchical linear regression.
RESULTS: The results of the regressions indicated that coping humor significantly, albeit weakly, predicted cohesion and flexibility. However, the effects of education level and the number of children in the family also had a significant predictive effect on cohesion and flexibility.
CONCLUSIONS: Contributions of the study, limitations, and implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.