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J Pediatr Oncol Nurs. 2003 Jan-Feb;20(1):36-47.

Parent and adolescent adjustment to pediatric cancer: associations with coping, social support, and family function.

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  • 1Behavioral Medicine Program, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan and NeuroBehavioral Resources, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48108, USA.


This article presents preliminary results investigating the relationship between parental and adolescent adjustment and coping and their relationship to social support and family functioning in a sample of adolescents (ages 11-18) with cancer and one of their parents. Parents and adolescents from two pediatric oncology clinics completed measures of distress, coping, social support, and family cohesion/adaptability. Low levels of distress were reported by both children and their parents with positive correlations noted between parent and child adjustment. Adolescents reported that their parents and a close friend were the greatest sources of social support and described their families as having a high degree of cohesion and adaptability. Both adolescents and parents used more adaptive than maladaptive coping strategies, although distress was associated with reduced use of adaptive coping. Adolescents are able to adapt to cancer in the context of strong family and social supports. In addition, there is a relationship between parental and adolescents adjustment, and between greater use of adaptive coping styles and lower distress.

Copyright 2003 by Association of Pediatric Oncology Nurses

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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