In this article, the authors report on an interview study in which parents described the coping strategies they used to deal with the demands of having a daughter diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. They compare parents’ accounts with commonly used categorizations in quantitative studies of parental coping and adjustment. The study indicates that parents attribute multiple, complex, and unique motives to their actions that problematize quantitative constructions of types of coping. Parents often defined their actions differently and reported using coping strategies that were not considered or measured by the most widely used quantitative coping instruments. The analysis indicates that when the focus is on understanding and assisting parental coping in particular circumstances, situated, contextspecific analyses are necessary to design measures that accurately reflect parents’ coping efforts.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology