When mom or dad has cancer: II. Coping, cognitive appraisals, and psychological distress in children of cancer patients

Bruce E. Compas, Sydney Ey, Nancy L. Worsham, David C. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

209 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cognitive appraisals and coping were examined in children, adolescents, and young adults (N = 134) faced with the diagnosis of cancer in a parent. All 3 age groups perceived low personal control and high external control over their parent's illness and used relatively little problem-focused coping. Adolescents and young adults reported more emotion-focused coping and dual-focused coping (both problem- and emotion-focused in intent) than did preadolescent children. Stage and prognosis of parent's cancer were related to appraisals of greater seriousness and stressfulness, and to more avoidance; however, only appraisals of stress were related to symptoms of anxiety-depression. Emotion-focused coping was related to greater avoidance and to higher symptoms of anxiety-depression; coping and control beliefs did not interact in their association with anxiety-depression symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-175
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1996

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Parental cancer
  • Psychological adjustment
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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