Predictors of parental emotional adjustment to childhood cancer

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105 Citaten (Scopus)


The main objective of the present study was to determine which variables predict the emotional adjustment of parents of children with cancer. Therefore, parents' emotional adjustment, in terms of depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness, helplessness, uncertainty and positive feelings, were predicted with three models. (1) With a child model (including age of the child, time since diagnosis, being in remission or having a relapse, and depression of the child); (2) with a control strategies model (including four distinguished control strategies of parents); and (3) with a child and control strategies model (including a combination of the aforementioned variables). The four control strategies of parents of children with cancer included: the reliance on predictive control (having positive expectations); vicarious control (attributing power to the medical setting); illusory control (relying on luck and wishful thinking); and interpretative control (gaining knowledge). A total of 84 mothers and 79 fathers, of 84 children with cancer with different survival perspectives (in remission or with a relapse) participated in the study, and were assessed about the use of control strategies and adjustment. Lack of positive expectations about the course of the illness was most strongly related to negative emotions for mothers and for fathers. For mothers having a child with a relapse, predicted feelings of helplessness and uncertainty, and reported feelings of depression of the child, proved to be related to the feelings of uncertainty of the fathers. The findings demonstrate that the use of secondary control strategies contribute significantly to the emotional adjustment of parents of children with cancer.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)115-128
Aantal pagina's14
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusGepubliceerd - 1997
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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