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[Parental cancer--parents ways of coping, family functioning, and psychosocial adjustment of dependent children].

[Article in German]

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Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie, -psychotherapie und -psychosomatik, Hamburg.


Children exposed to parental cancer have an increased risk of mental health problems. However, the parental illness itself and its features do not predict children's psychological adjustment. Parent- and family-related factors are more predictive for children's well-being and the incidence of psychopathological symptoms, respectively. This study focuses on parental ways of coping with illness from both, the ill and healthy parent's perspective, and the relationship with family functioning and children's adjustment. Results show a significant impact of parental coping styles on children's health-related quality of life and psychopathological symptoms and, furthermore, that this relationship is mediated by aspects of family functioning. This study support the importance of family systems approaches. Implications for further studies and practical issues are discussed.

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