Kathryn A. Kraft is a 2014 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee

  • Susan Hawes, Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Gina Pasquale, Psy.D. Committee Member
  • Laura Edwards-Leeper, Ph.D. Committee Member


congenital adrenal hyperplasia, CAH, family systems illness model, family sculpture, narrative family intervention, chronic childhood illness, chronicity, quality of life

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In this dissertation, I discuss the medical and psychological needs of families with children with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH). Due to these needs, I have designed and described a program of social support and psychoeducation to be offered to parents and families. Specifically, I discuss the difficulty that parents have when finding out that their child has CAH, the emotional toll this takes on a parent, on their relationship, and on their family. Using a Family Systems Illness Model, I designed a program that takes into account family functioning, organization, structure, and communication when determining what would be most helpful for these families at different stages in their adaptation to this disease. I then lay out a clear plan of action for implementing this program in settings where parents would gather and connect such as children’s hospitals that treat their children. This program could also be used outside of a hospital setting in many different supportive environments.