Identifying as a Good Parent: Considering the Communication Theory of Identity for Parents of Children Receiving Palliative Care

Meaghann S. Weaver, Pamela Hinds, Jody Koenig Kellas, Michael L. Hecht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Parents of seriously ill children are at risk of psychosocial morbidity, which may be mitigated by competent family-centered communication and role-affirming conversations. Parent caregivers describe a guiding desire to do a good job in their parenting role but also depict struggling under the intense weight of parental duty. Objectives and Design: Through this case study, the Communication Theory of Identity (CTI) provides a framework for conceptualizing how palliative care teams can help parents cope with this reality. CTI views communication with care teams as formative in the development and enablement of parental perceptions of their "good parenting"role. Results: Palliative care teams may consider the four frames of identity (personal, enacted, relational, and communal) as meaningful dimensions of the parental pursuit to care well for an ill child. Conclusion: Palliative care teams may consider compassionate communication about parental roles to support the directional virtues of multilayered dynamic parental identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Palliative Medicine
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2021

Keywords

  • case report
  • communicated theory of identity
  • communication
  • pediatric palliative care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine

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