Looking Beyond the Individual: How Family Demands and Capabilities Affect Family Adjustment Following Pediatric Solid Organ Transplant

Grace K. Cushman, Cyd K. Eaton, Ana M. Gutierrez-Colina, Lauren F. Quast, Jennifer L. Lee, Bonney Reed-Knight, Laura L. Mee, Roshan George, Ronald L. Blount

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Better family adjustment following pediatric solid organ transplantation has been associated with a number of beneficial medical and psychosocial outcomes. Yet few studies have examined which pretransplant variables are associated with posttransplant family adjustment. This information can aid in identifying families that may need support going into the transplantation process and those who are at lower risk of worse posttransplant adjustment. Method: The sample included 66 parents of children with solid organ transplants and 22 children with solid organ transplants. Information regarding demographic factors, parent and child emotional functioning, and child social support was collected during the child's pretransplant evaluation and information on family adjustment was collected 6 months after transplantation. Results: Results indicated that pretransplant demands such as worse parent and child emotional functioning were related to worse family adjustment 6 months after transplantation. Pretransplant capabilities (i.e., higher family income, parent education level, parent marital status, child social support) were not associated with posttransplant family adjustment. Discussion: Pretransplant family demands such as parent and child emotional functioning, as opposed to family capabilities, should be assessed by family health care team members prior to transplantation because they may be related to worse family adjustment after the transplant. We offer recommendations for ways to assess and, if indicated, intervene upon pretransplant family demands in an effort to decrease the risk of worse posttransplant family adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Child emotional functioning
  • Family adjustment
  • Parent emotional functioning
  • Solid organ transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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