Adolescent’s stress responses and psychological functioning when a parent has early breast cancer
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Objective: To identify factors associated with psychological functioning in adolescent children of early-stage breast cancer patients. Method. Adolescents’ self-reported psychological functioning using the Child Behaviour Checklist (YSR), Mental Health subscale of the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ-MH) and Child Impact of Events (C-IES) scale. The Family Assessment Device (FAD) and the Family Environment Scale (FES cohesion subscale) assessed family functioning. Maternal depression was assessed on the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) and quality of life using the SF8. Using a cross-sectional within-groups design, assessments were obtained for 56 adolescents of 11-17 years. Results: High rates of stress were found (C-IES) in 33% males and 45% females. Thirty percent of adolescents reported psychological problems (YSR) (28% males and 32% females) when compared with published norms. Poor family functioning was linked with YSR internalising and externalising problems; poor family cohesion with higher externalising and total YSR psychological problems. Maternal depression was linked with adolescent-reported internalising problems. Conclusions: When mothers have breast cancer, a substantial minority of their adolescent children have psychological and stress response-related problems linked with poor family functioning. These results argue in favour of a family-oriented approach to psychological support of breast cancer patients. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
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Psychology Research Group
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PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY, 2008, 17 pp. 1039 - 1047
JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD