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J Pediatr Nurs. 2001 Feb;16(1):35-42.

Self-esteem and hopefulness in adolescents with cancer.

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  • 1College of Nursing, Villanova University, 800 Lancaster Avenue, Villanova, PA 19085-1690, USA.


Increased survivorship in childhood cancer has raised questions about adolescents' psychosocial functioning during the treatment experience and long-term adaptation as cancer survivors. This descriptive correlation study examines the relationships among the stages of adolescence, gender, self-esteem, and hopefulness in a sample of 45 adolescents with cancer. The perceived level of self-esteem was measured by using the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory; the amount of hopefulness was measured by using the Hopefulness Scale for Adolescents. Mean scores for self-esteem and hopefulness were comparable to normative data reported for healthy adolescents on each scale. Perceived level of self-esteem and hopefulness did not significantly differ between boys and girls overall; early, middle, and late adolescents; or between boys and girls within each stage of adolescence. A stepwise multiple regression analysis showed self-esteem and the early stage of adolescence accounted for 27.3% (R2 = .306) of the variance in hopefulness scores. Self-esteem was the most significant predictor (F = 12.456, p = .001), explaining 20.7% of the variance (R2 = .225, p = .001). This study contributes to nursing the knowledge of the psychosocial response and the treatment experience in adolescents with cancer. These results can be used in future research to develop and test nursing actions that can influence a perceived sense of self-esteem and hopefulness and potentially allow for continued psychosocial development and effective coping among these adolescents during treatment and into survivorship.

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