Date of Graduation

Summer 8-31-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)


School of Nursing and Health Professions


Clinical Psychology (PsyD)

First Advisor

Brent Richard Ferm, PhD

Second Advisor

Lou Felipe, PhD

Third Advisor

Al Meza, EdD


The coping mechanisms of Filipino American caregivers of children with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities are explored using an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). This study aimed to comprehend the subjective experience of caregivers and how they operationalize the established constructs of resilience. Particular focus is paid to the subjective experience of coping in Filipino American caregivers of children with special needs. The participants’ parenting experience and how they manage parenting stress are documented and analyzed using an interpretative phenomenological framework. Seminal studies on resilience, family resilience, and Filipino American psychology are discussed. The results yielded five broad domains (clarity of parenting roles, extended family as a support system, acceptance of child’s disability, self-fulfillment as a parent, and community involvement). Eight themes were found, which included: defined parenting roles, teamwork in parenting, reliability and dependability of extended family members, expressions of altruism among extended family members, coming to terms with child’s disability, modification of parental expectations in response to the child’s disability, enjoyment of being a parent, and sense of belonging. The results of this study provided meaningful information in understanding the caregiving experience of Filipino American caregivers. It is a foundation for future studies in understanding the coping mechanisms of Filipino American caregivers to better serve this population, as well as provide interventions that are meaningful to them.