Louise Berg Puggaard defends her PhD thesis at the Department of Psychology – University of Copenhagen

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Louise Berg Puggaard defends her PhD thesis at the Department of Psychology


Louise Berg Puggaard


Children of Chronic Somatically III Parents. Impact, Coping and Psychosocial Adjustment”.

Time and venue

Friday the 1st December at 13:00 2017 at 13:00. University of Copenhagen, Department of Psychology, Øster Farimagsgade 5, 1353 Copenhagen K, room 2.1.12. Kindly note that the defense will start precisely   at the  announced time.            

Assessment Committee                                   

  • Professor mso, Barbara Hoff Esbjørn, Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen (chair)
  • Associate Professor Inger Utne, Faculty of Health Sciences, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Science, Norway     
  • Associate Professor, Ditte Alexandrea Winther-Lindquist, Danish School of Education, University of Aarhus


The thesis explores the impact of parental chronic somatic illness on children, in particular their coping and psychosocial adjustment. The thesis comprises a systematic review of the literature concerning the impact on, and factors associated with, the adjustment of children of ill parents, an interview study with children and their parents who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and a third study with a questionnaire design investigating children’s coping and the association with their adjustment. The literature review showed that children of ill parents generally suffered from distress and had a small increased risk of psychosocial problems compared to their peers with healthy parents, and that their adjustment varied according to family- and illness-related factors. The interview study showed that children of parents with type 1 diabetes were worried about their parents’ health and were affected by their parents’ mood changes. Furthermore, the children, like children of parents with cancer and multiple sclerosis in the questionnaire-based study, used a variety of coping strategies. The questionnaire-based study showed that children’s coping was not associated with their adjustment.