br Family coping is a bridging concept
Family coping is a bridging concept comprising cognitive and behav-ioral components, in which family resources, perceptions, and behav-ioral responses cooperate to contribute to a rebalanced family functioning (Kong, 2010). The CAY10683 of a family to a stressful event depends largely on how it copes with the event (McCubbin,
Corresponding author at: Room 424, School of Nursing, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.
E-mail address: [email protected] (M.-F. Zhang).
1996). Effective family coping strategies are more likely to lead to bon-adaptation (positive adaptation), whereas, families not applying such strategies may experience maladaptation (negative adaptation). Previous studies have found that family coping plays an important role in adaptation to a stressful event (e.g., chronic disease, disability, etc.) (Lin, Orsmond, Coster, & Cohn, 2011; Pakenham, Samios, & Sofronoff, 2005; Wartella, Auerbach, & Ward, 2009).
Cultural norms affect the choice of coping strategies and are individ-ually utilized in any given situation (Kayser et al., 2014; Schulz, Hartung,
& Riva, 2013). For example, studies revealed that parents in Australia, United States, and South Asia reported that having faith and trust in doctors, as well as receiving support from church is necessary and help-ful to them in remaining positive during the illness of their child (Banerjee et al., 2011; Brody & Simmons, 2007; Jackson, Tsantefski, Goodman, Johnson, & Rosenfeld, 2003). Greek and Korean parents re-ported coping strategies related to maintaining family integration and an optimistic outlook for the situation as being the most helpful (Han, Cho, Kim, & Kim, 2009; Patistea, 2005). However, German parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer often use a withdrawing or backwards-directed coping behavior and reported limited desire to
seek social support (Goldbeck, 2001). This demonstrated that the cul-ture context may affect the coping options available to an individual when facing stress. Members of different cultures may consider and re-spond differently to stressors, with respect to coping goals, strategies, and outcomes (Kuo, 2011).
Chinese individuals live in a multicultural context with multiple views. The main ideology is based on Confucianism, Familism (a part of Confucianism), and Collectivism (Qiu, Sit, & Koo, 2018; Xiao et al., 2014). The basic guidelines of Confucianism essentially form a series of duty-bound obligations that stipulate the acceptable and unaccept-able behavior of a “proper and right” individual. Confucianism teaches harmony and family loyalty. Achieving happiness and good health de-pends on respecting the members of the community. The values of fam-ilism are important in Chinese culture, which regard caring for family members as the responsibility of the family (Xiao et al., 2014). In addi-tion, Chinese individuals advocate the values of collectivist, which prior-itize group interests over individual interests. For the sake of family harmony and well-being, individuals are strongly advised to sacrifice their personal interests (Qiu, Sit, & Koo, 2018).
In modern society, Chinese culture continues to affect the percep-tions and behaviors of Chinese individuals (Shi, 2013). Thus far, few studies have attempted to identify the strategies of family coping in Chi-nese culture, related to a child's hospitalization for the treatment of can-cer. In recent years, the incidence of childhood cancer in mainland China has been increasing. The families of children hospitalized in pediatric oncology units are a considerable target group demanding special atten-tion. In clinical settings, the limited availability of information may af-fect the delivery and quality of care to families. In-depth understanding regarding family coping may assist clinical nurses to de-vise and develop supportive interventions tailored to the particular sit-uation and needs of the patient's family. This study employed an exploratory approach to investigate the strategies of family coping dur-ing a child's hospitalization for the treatment of cancer in mainland China.