Adolescents who struggle with trichotillomania (TTM; hairpulling disorder) are not alone, their parents also struggle. The focus of this qualitative study was to identify what parents (N = 30) perceive as stressful about parenting an adolescent with TTM and how they cope with these stressors. Parents described uncertainty about the course of the disorder and powerlessness in the ability to protect their adolescent from the reactions of others or assist them in curtailing the hairpulling as very distressing. Data analysis revealed eight coping strategies used to manage these stressors and the accompanying grief: (a) information gathering, (b) anticipatory guidance, (c) crying, (d) hypervigilance, (e) gaining emotional support from others, (f) acceptance, (g) goal revision, and (h) guiding rather than protecting their adolescent. The study findings can be used by school nurses to gain a deeper understanding of this disorder and to provide family-centered care in the school setting.
- psychological adaptation
- qualitative research