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A comparison of the emotional and behavioral problems of children of patients with cancer or a mental disorder and their association with parental quality of life

  • OBJECTIVE To compare the emotional and behavioral problems of children of patients suffering from cancer or a mental disorder and their association with parental quality of life. METHODS A total of 223 children from 136 families and their 160 parents were investigated from multiple perspectives in a cross-sectional study. The consistency of different adjustment reports between family members was examined. Through mixed models, the differences between parental HRQoL and the children's symptomatology were studied with regard to the type of parental illness. The prediction of children's adjustment through parental HRQoL was further examined. Additionally, gender and age of the children were considered. RESULTS Half of the children exhibited psychosocial problems. Gender and age differences were independent of the type of parental disease. In families with parental cancer, the reports of children's adjustment were more consistent between family members than in families where a parental mental disorder was present. We found differences in HRQoL between families with mentally ill parents and those with parental cancer patients. Specifically, the healthy partners of mentally ill parents showed worse HRQoL compared with healthy partners of cancer patients. Healthy parents' reduced HRQoL was associated with worse adjustment in their children, regardless of the type of parental illness, but this result was not found for ill parents. CONCLUSION Family members confronted with parental cancer or mental disorders are more burdened compared with those from the normal population, independently of the type of disease. Our results indicate that the type of a parental disease has no direct effect on children's adjustment. However, there are disease-specific effects on parental HRQoL, which are associated with children's adjustment.

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Author:Thomas Krattenmacher, Franziska Kühne, Susanne Halverscheid, Silke Wiegand-Grefe, Corinna Bergelt, Georg Romer, Birgit Möller
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychores.2013.11.020
Parent Title (English):Journal of psychosomatic research
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of Completion:2014
Year of first Publication:2014
Release Date:2020/10/16
GND Keyword:Adolescent; Affective Symptoms/psychology; Child; Female; Humans; Male; Mental Disorders/psychology; Neoplasms/psychology; Parent-Child Relations; Parents/psychology; Quality of Life
Volume:76
First Page:213
Last Page:220
Faculties:Sozialwesen (SW)
Publication list:Möller-Kallista, Birgit
Licence (German):License LogoBibliographische Daten