“It Didn't Kill Me. It Just Made Me Stronger and Wiser”: Silver Linings for Children and Adolescents of Parents with Chronic Pain

Publication Title

Archives of Psychiatric Nursing

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stronger, wiser, silver linings, children, adolescents, parents, chronic pain




Chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) is a disease that affects adults in their child-rearing years and is often incurable and of indefinite duration. Children and adolescents who live with parental CNCP can endure multiple adversities and experience subsequent emotional and somatic difficulties. Resilience is the ability to overcome adversity and even experience growth. This study is a secondary analysis of qualitative data, which sought to gain a deeper understanding of the ways in which children and adolescents rebound and grow from experiences living with parents who suffer with CNCP. Young adult children (N = 30) of parents with CNCP were interviewed. Content analysis yielded five ways in which their experiences led to areas of positive growth: (a) expanded ways of understanding; (b) cultivated a strong character; (c) aided in the development of important skills; (d) instilled a commitment to live well, and; (e) nurtured spirituality. Clinicians who work with children and adolescents whose parents are disabled with CNCP can create environments that foster resilience and serve as a guide by helping these youth recognize potentials that have not yet been actualized and promoting positive change and growth over time.