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J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2013 Jun;2(2):77-82.

Exploratory Analyses of Substance Use in Adolescents With and Without Cancer.

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1
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. ; Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

This study explored self-reported substance use and factors associated with use among adolescents with and without cancer.

METHODS:

Adolescents (aged 13-19) receiving cancer treatment at a Mid-Atlantic children's hospital (n=103) and healthy peers (n=98) answered questions about substance use (drinking or drug use in past 4 months) and psychosocial variables. Parents completed demographic and family functioning questionnaires.

RESULTS:

Healthy adolescents reported more substance use (n=17) than adolescents with cancer (n=8). Associates of substance use in adolescents with cancer included more avoidant and substance use-related coping, less positive affect, worse parent-reported family functioning, and less nausea.

CONCLUSION:

Substance use and its health implications in adolescent oncology need enhanced awareness, intervention and prevention efforts, and further research.

KEYWORDS:

alcohol use; pediatric; psychosocial; risk behavior; tobacco use; treatment

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