Send to

Choose Destination
Disabil Rehabil. 2012;34(18):1540-9. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2011.650310. Epub 2012 Feb 6.

Coping strategies used by Pakistani parents living in the United Kingdom and caring for a severely disabled child.

Author information

School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.



This study explores the coping strategies of Pakistani parents living in the UK and caring for children with severe learning disabilities. It examines factors that influenced participants' choice or ability to use the different strategies identified.


Qualitative design using in-depth interviews.


Coping strategies included sharing care with others, using external support and recognizing and enjoying the rewards of caregiving. Parents used different strategies according to their appraisal of resources available and the perceived consequences of their action within their social milieu.


Findings relating to cultural difference fit with a universalist approach. Coping strategies are not specific to the Pakistani population but certain characteristics of the strategies may be distinct to those used by parents with a different heritage. Antonovsky's work suggests that maintaining a sense of coherence makes a key difference to staying psychologically healthy in an apparently disordered world. Findings from this study fit with this theory. Parents derived meaning and a sense of purpose from the idea that their child's disability was from God. The rewards of caregiving and the strong moral imperative to care for one's own child contributed to understandings of caregiving as an activity worthy of investment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center