Date of Award

Fall 1984

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Nursing

Abstract

This exploratory study was designed to investigate the concerns of parents of infants who are affected with a cleft of the lip and/or palate. Parents of infants from birth to three months and from eight to twelve months were studied, focusing on concerns regarding the present and future status of their child. The "Parental Concerns Scale: Infants with Health Problems" was administered to eleven parents of birth to three month old infants and eleven parents of eight to twelve month old infants. The subjects completed a 165 item Likert scale along with biographical information. Additional Likert and open-ended questions which address problems related to speech, hearing and other oral functions in children with a cleft of the lip and/or palate were developed by the researcher (Bollig developed items). Subjects also completed the "Profile of Mood States", which consisted of sixty-five adjectives which describe six mood states. Research hypotheses were that there is a measurable difference in the level of concern reported by mothers and fathers, that parents of infants who are birth to three months report more concerns regarding feeding, and that parents of eight to twelve month old infants report more concerns about speech, hearing and other oral functions. The results of the study showed that maternal concerns were greater than paternal concerns. This sample of emotionally healthy parents expressed the most intense concerns regarding their infant's future. This is especially true for parents of eight to twelve month old infants. The second greatest concern for parents was the cause of their infant's anomaly, with the concerns being greater for mothers than fathers. Feeding related behavior was found to be of greater concern to mothers than fathers and is of greater concern to parents of eight to 12 month old infants. Parents of the older infants also were more concerned about speech, hearing and other oral functions than parents of birth to three month old infants. It was found that parents were least concerned about their support systems and the sacrifices they need to make for their infant.

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