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Cancer-related sources of stress for children with cancer and their parents

Journal title
Journal of pediatric psychology
Publication year
Rodriguez, E. M.; Dunn, M. J.; Zuckerman, T.; Vannatta, K.; Gerhardt, C. A.; Compas, B. E.

OBJECTIVES: The current study examines reports and correlates of cancer-specific stressors in children with cancer and their parents. Measures Mothers (n = 191) and fathers (n = 95) reported on their own and their child’s stressors, general perceived stress, and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Children (n = 106) completed self-reports of their own stressors and posttraumatic stress symptoms. RESULTS: Mother and father self-reports were positively correlated, but mothers reported higher levels of stressors than fathers. Child and parent reports of children’s stressors were positively correlated, but parents rated physical effects as more stressful while children rated role-functioning stressors as more stressful. Parents’ and childrens’ reports of stressors were also positively associated with general perceived stress and posttraumatic stress symptoms. CONCLUSIONS: The findings extend research on stress in children with cancer and their parents, and may help inform research on risk and intervention in pediatric cancer populations.

Research abstracts