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J Pediatr Psychol. 2016 Apr;41(3):329-39. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsv106. Epub 2015 Nov 25.

Maternal Coping and Depressive Symptoms as Predictors of Mother-Child Communication About a Child's Cancer.

Author information

1
University of Texas at Austin, erodriguez@austin.utexas.edu.
2
Vanderbilt University.
3
The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, and The Ohio State University.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This study sought to identify possible associations between maternal coping and depression and subsequent mother-child communication about cancer following the child's diagnosis. 

METHOD:

Mothers (N = 100) reported on coping and depressive symptoms shortly after the child's diagnosis (M = 1.9 months). Subsequently, we observed children (age 5-17 years; M = 10.2 years; 48% female; 81% White) and mothers discussing cancer and coded maternal communication. 

RESULTS:

Higher primary and secondary control coping, and lower depressive symptoms, were generally correlated with more positive, and less harsh and withdrawn communication. In regression models, higher primary control coping (i.e., coping efforts to change the stressor or one's emotional reaction to the stressor) independently predicted less withdrawn communication, and depressive symptoms mediated relations between coping and harsh communication. 

CONCLUSIONS:

Maternal primary control coping and depressive symptoms predict mothers' subsequent harsh and withdrawn communication about cancer.

KEYWORDS:

cancer; coping; depression; mother–child communication

PMID:
26609183
PMCID:
PMC5013837
DOI:
10.1093/jpepsy/jsv106
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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