This article considers the coping strategies of families with children and adults with intellectual disabilities. It is argued that the literature on coping and resilience in families has often been overlooked in favour of deficit models of family functioning. The study was designed to provide a further test of the transactional model of coping, but more especially, to explore which problem-solving, cognitive and stress reduction coping strategies family members found useful. Based on the use of a coping inventory Carers Assessment of Managing Index (CAMI), coping is shown to be differentiated according to gender, life stage and family structure. Implications for continuing research into family care are considered and some questions are raised about family support.