Spiritual coping among chronically ill children

Sarah Faith Shelton, Paul A Mabe

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Children with chronic and potentially life-threatening illnesses are confronted with numerous stressors. Fear and uncertainty regarding the future, unpredictable illness course and outcome, intrusive treatment regimens, invasive medical procedures, perceived or actual loss of control, and general disruption of life events are a few of the many challenges they must face. Numerous studies conducted with chronically ill children support the idea of tailoring treatment to the individual needs of the patient by assessing developmental, familial, and cultural influences. Yet, surprisingly there has been relatively little attention paid in research to the manner in which children use religion/spirituality to help them through these stresses of chronic illness. Adult studies have clearly indicated that many people report turning to their faith beliefs when faced with a crisis such as an illness or an injury. While research on religious/spiritual coping in adults is enjoying growing interest, religious/spiritual coping in children has largely been neglected.This chapter will review and discuss existing theories and research on children's spiritual coping, specifically as it pertains to dealing with chronic childhood illness. Clinical implications in the field of pediatric psychology and directions for future research in this area will also be explored.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationReligion and Healthcare
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)9781613242568
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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