Investigating Factors Associated With Offspring’s Coping with Huntington’s Disease-related stress.
Abstract: Objective: In this study, I investigated (1) how age is related to reported levels of coping with Huntington’s Disease-related stress in offspring; (2) how measures of disease progression in parents are directly related to use of coping in offspring; (3) how use of coping in parents is directly related to coping in offspring; and (4) if there is an indirect association of disease progression in parents with the ways that offspring cope with HD-related stress through perceived levels of offspring HD-related stress. Method: Adolescent (ages 10 –19) and young adult (ages 20 –29) offspring and their parents with HD (n=40) were recruited from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Huntington Disease Society of America Level 1 Center of Excellence. Offspring participants in the study completed self-report measures of coping and neuropsychiatric symptoms, and parents completed measures of coping and had their genetic status measured. Results: Age was found to have a significant negative correlation with disengagement coping. CAP scores were found to be significantly negatively associated with secondary control coping. Number of CAG repeats was also found to be significantly negatively associated with secondary control coping and was found to be significantly positively associated with disengagement coping. Parents’ primary control coping was significantly positively associated with offspring’s primary control coping. Parents’ disengagement coping was found to be significantly negatively associated with offspring’s primary control coping. Perceived levels of offspring’s HD-related stress were found to be significantly negatively associated with offspring’s secondary control coping. Discussion: Results of the study can offer some understanding of factors that influence how offspring cope and can be further explored in the future in order to assess what interventions can be used to improve coping in offspring.