I was looking up some stuff and found this excellent article by Dr. Young. It is all about sci and families.Link to Dr. Young's article

"Children. Given the disruptive and impoverishing effects of spinal cord injury on
families, most people assume that spinal cord injury of a parent has deleterious effects
on children. However, several studies suggests that spinal cord injury does not have as
much deleterious long-term effect on the well-being of children. Killen (1990) assessed
roles of children in families after spinal cord injury and found that spinal cord injury did not change the roles, i.e. mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives continued to play their traditional roles. Buck & Hohmann (1981) examined the effects of fathers with spinal
cord injury and subsequent adjustment of 45 children compared to matched 36 children
with able-bodied fathers. They found the children to be well-adjusted and emotionally
stable with normal sex role identifies. Buck & Hohmann (1984) also analyzed the effects
of financial insecurity and unemployment on child development, comparing children
whose fathers were receiving ample income with those who were unemployed. They found no adverse relationship between child adjustment and financial resources of father's financial resources. Alexander, et al. (2002) described the impact of mothers with spinal cord injury on family and children's adjustments. They also found no adverse effects on the children's adjustment, gender role identity, self-esteem, or attitudes towards mother and father. There is a need for more studies on this subject,particularly with long-term follow-up of children whose parents have suffered spinal cord injury. While there is a dearth of information on the effects of parental spinal cord injury on children, much information is available concerning children who have parents with other disabilities. Through the Looking Glass (http://www.lookingglass.org/) is a
wonderful web site in Berkeley California that has pioneered research, training, and
services for families with disability. It is estimated that 2.6 to 4.7 million parents with
disabilities are raising teenage children in the United States and nearly 10.9% of all
American families with children include at least one parent who has a disability.
Parents. Almost everybody who is spinal injured has a parent. Over half of people in
the United States are injured before age 26. When a person is young and not married,
the burden of caregiving frequently is taken up by the parents. There is often nobody
else. Yet, almost nothing is published in the medical literature concerning parents of
people with spinal cord injury. I can say, however, from meeting many parents of
injured people that the spinal cord injury of a child is as or more life-altering for them.
One other factor may play a role as well. Many parents cannot adjust or forget. Years
and even decades after the spinal cord injury, many parents are still grieving. It is not
unusual to find tears in the eyes of a parent of a person with spinal cord injury when
they talk about the accident and the events that follow. Feelings of helplessness and
hopelessness, guilt, and depression often pervade their lives for a long time. There may
also be differences between the responses of mother and fathers."

"Marital Relationships. Several studies have reported differences in the quality of
marital relationships in pre- and post-injury marriages. Peters, et al. (1992) compared
marital relationships between people with spinal cord injury and head injury, finding
that the latter causes much greater adjustment difficulties for spouses than the former.
Crewe & Krause (1988, 1992) report that individuals who marry after injury have
measurably higher life satisfaction than those married before injury. Yim, et al. (1998)
assessed the quality of marital life among Korean couples with spinal cord injury.
Married couples with spinal cord injury were not more unstable, had similar dyadic
adjustment and marital satisfaction, appear to be more cohesive than able-bodied
couples, even though husbands with spinal cord injury tend to show less affection and
the couples regarded loss of sexual function as a serious problem. Distressed couples
with spinal cord injury tend to express more dissatisfaction with sexual relations and
more negative communication during conflict resolution (Urey & Henggeler, 1987).
Divorces. Divorce rates are higher after spinal cord injury (DeVivo & Fine, 1985) but
reported divorce rates are highly variable from 8-48%. One early study suggested that
divorce rates of pre-injury marriages are comparable to divorce rates of the general
population (El Ghatit & Hanson, 1976). DeVivo, et al. (1995) examined 622 married
persons enrolled in the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center data set since
1973, finding a total of 126 divorces compared to 74 expected divorces based on age-sexspecific divorce rates of the general population. Men had a 2.07 times higher rate of
divorce than women with spinal cord injury. DeVivo, et al. (1991) and Kreuter (2000)
both point out that divorce rates are high during an initial high-risk period but tend to
stabilize. Lapham-Randlov (1994) suggests that while the experience of spinal cord
injury is painful, it offers opportunities for personal growth and family coalescence."

C5/6 incomplete, injured Aug. 2000

[This message was edited by Betheny on 08-05-04 at 02:18 PM.]