Psychology ETDs

Publication Date

Summer 7-15-2022


Chronic illnesses are often life-long and affect academic performance, social development, psychological well-being, and family functioning. The broad effects of childhood chronic illnesses are often assessed using measures of child health-related quality of life (HRQL). Parent factors (parental distress, perceptions of child vulnerability, overprotection) and family factors (maintaining rituals, open communication, positive coping) have been associated with changes in child HRQL. This study sought to discover how parent and family factors were associated with child HRQL, and how such factors were perceived by families for inclusion in future interventions. Results demonstrated that parental perceptions of child vulnerability were associated with both family factors and child HRQL. Open communication and parental positive coping were also significant predictors of child HRQL. Open ended questions were consistent with quantitative results. Taken together, this specific targets for an intervention should include parental perceptions of child vulnerability, positive coping, and open family communication.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Sarah Erickson

Second Committee Member

Davood Tofighi

Third Committee Member

Bruce Smith

Fourth Committee Member

Ryan Kelly

Fifth Committee Member

Eric Zimak



Document Type