Aim: The present study explored the differences in emotional difficulties and resilience between fathers and mothers of a child with a cleft lip and palate. Methods: Married couples were recruited who were accompanying their child with a cleft lip and palate (<12 years old) on regular visits to an outpatient clinic in a Japanese hospital. The participants were distributed an anonymous questionnaire that included items regarding emotional difficulties with the cleft lip and palate and a scale to measure resilience when caring for the children. In the data analysis, the paired t-test was used to compare the individuals within the couples. Results: By analyzing the data of 64 couples who provided valid responses, two items with the highest mean score for the difficulties that were faced by both the father and mother of a child with a cleft lip and palate were: “I am worried about whether the child's teeth will be straightened” and “I am worried that the children could suffer due to their appearance.” The mothers felt significantly more worry about their child's future and more guilt than did the fathers. In contrast, the fathers had greater resilience, in terms of problem-solving skills and recognition and acceptance than did the mothers. Conclusion: It is important that healthcare providers understand the difference between the fathers’ and mothers’ worries about their child with a cleft lip and palate. Specific support services should be offered to fathers with a high level of resilience, in terms of the acceptance of reality and problem-solving, which could increase their parenting ability.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Research and Theory