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Comprehensive Handbook of Childhood Cancer and Sickle Cell DiseaseA Biopsychosocial Approach$
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Ronald T. Brown

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195169850

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195169850.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 June 2021

Problem-Solving Skills Training for Mothers of Children With Newly Diagnosed Cancer

Problem-Solving Skills Training for Mothers of Children With Newly Diagnosed Cancer

(p.218) 12 Problem-Solving Skills Training for Mothers of Children With Newly Diagnosed Cancer
Comprehensive Handbook of Childhood Cancer and Sickle Cell Disease

Donna R. Copeland

Robert B. Noll

Oxford University Press

The diagnosis of childhood cancer is a highly stressful event for all members of the family. This chapter focuses on the responses of mothers during the first few months after the diagnosis and describes an 8-week intervention, entitled problemsolving skills training (PSST), that is efficacious in reducing features of negative affectivity in mothers during the time of induction and early treatment. Studies examining the emotional well-being of parents of children with cancer suggested that mothers and fathers are at risk for symptoms of anxiety and depression during their child’s treatment (Fife, Norton, & Groom, 1987; Hughes & Lieberman, 1990; Noll et al., 1995). In addition, some evidence suggested that mothers are at increased risk for posttraumatic stress symptoms after treatment ends (Hall & Baum, 1995; Kazak et al., 1997; Manne, DuHamel, Gallelli, Sorgen, & Redd, 1998; Manne et al., 2001, 2002; Pelcovitz et al.,1996; Stuber, Christakis, Houskamp, & Kazak, 1996). These findings are not universal. Some researchers have reported a return to normal psychological functioning among parents within months after their child was diagnosed (Dahlquist, Czyzewski, & Jones, 1996; Kupst & Schulman, 1988; Kupst et al., 1995). Regardless, consensus exists that there is a period of time immediately after a child is diagnosed with cancer when caregivers are at risk for an increase in symptoms of depression and anxiety (Kazak et al., 2001). In addition to the specific stressors associated with a new diagnosis of cancer in her child, the wife/mother appears to be the key individual in maintaining the integrity of the entire family. For example, 74% of men reported that they talk primarily to their spouse when upset (Cutrona, 1996). Further, males will typically depend on their wives to maintain social contacts with friends, family, and the general community (Antonucci & Akiyama, 1987). Thus, mothers may be particularly vulnerable to distress because of the pivotal role they play in maintaining family social and emotional functioning. The experience of a cancer diagnosis can be easily understood as a major negative life stressor that can cause significant psychological distress.

Keywords:   Bright IDEAS system for problem solving, affectivity, negative, depression, problem solving

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