Carmi Miko P. Masanda, Argel B. Masanda
Abstract: Down syndrome (DS) is defined as human beings with extremely low or depleted intellectual capacity due to chromosomal abnormalities. Having children with Down syndrome gives challenges in parenting; they can have stress, anxiety, depression and other psychological problems (Weiss, Sulivan & Diamond, 2013). In view of this, the study investigated the parents (1) appraisal system; (2) problems and challenges; (3) coping strategies/mechanisms; (4) its impact to their personal lives, family lives, and social lives. Qualitative design was utilized through in-depth semi-structured interview with 6 parents (5 mothers and 1 father). Data gathered were examined using thematic analysis based on the pre-set criteria by the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping by Lazarus & Cohen (1977). Results suggested that parents appraisal of their familial situation can be understood through various perspectives in the cognitive, affective, and behavioral domains. Most of the problem that parents encountered centered on general family issues; hence, having a child with DS does not aggravate familial burden. Specific problems brought by the condition are usually coped through the use of avoidance, denial, social support and religiosity. These coping mechanisms however can only be dismissed effective only with the help of other family members, friends and love ones. What plays a major role in this particular parental experience is the quality of their appraisal system and coping mechanism. Educated and informed considerations relative to their childs condition as well as positive coping strategies provide protective factors to their overall parenting.
Keywords: Parenting, Down syndrome, Transactional Model of Stress & Coping