The experiences of Latino fathers with chronically ill children

The current study explored how Latino fathers experience their lives and roles in parenting a child with a chronic illness. Five fathers (ages 20-45) and with children diagnosed with Club Foot, Down Syndrome, Congenital Heart Condition and Cancer were recruited from the Kolchins/Thomas Infant Development Services, K.I.D.S., in Calabasas, California. Ecocultural interviews lasting about 90 minutes were conducted with each, four in Spanish and one in English. Results indicated that these five fathers were directly and intimately involved in the care of their chronically ill child in a variety of ways. They all expressed a deep and abiding love for their child and were highly knowledgeable about the developmental and medical needs of their child. Implications for policy and future research are described.