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Religiosity and coping in mothers of children diagnosed with cancer: an exploratory analysis

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Elkin, T. D.; Jensen, S. A.; McNeil, L.; Gilbert, M. E.; Pullen, J.; McComb, L.

Although several factors related to coping in parents of children diagnosed with cancer have been explored, little is known about their religious beliefs and behavior and its relationship to coping. The purpose of this study was to provide preliminary data on the religious beliefs and behaviors of mothers of children with cancer and the relation to their psychological adjustment. Twenty-seven mothers of children diagnosed with cancer completed several measures of religious beliefs and behaviors as well as the Beck Depression Inventory-II. The sample was highly religious and specifically Christian. Thirty percent of the mothers reported elevated levels of depressive symptoms, and these mothers reported lower levels of religious belief and behavior than the mothers who denied depressive symptoms. These data suggest a relationship between religiosity and positive coping behavior that should continue to be explored.

Research abstracts