Parents and Children Coping with Pediatric Cancer: Associations Between Parent and Child Anxiety, and Parent-Child Communication
Hus, Anna Maria
Questionnaire and observational measures were used to examine psychological anxiety in mothers of children coping with pediatric cancer and its association with child anxiety and mother-child communication. Ninety-seven mothers completed measures assessing mothers’ generalized anxiety, posttraumatic stress symptoms, avoidance, and children’s distress. Adolescents also provided data on their anxiety. Of these 97 mothers and their child, 33 participated in a parent-child observation task assessing maternal anxiety, avoidance, warmth, communication, and child anxiety. Mothers’ symptoms of posttraumatic stress, rather than generalized anxiety, were elevated above normative levels. Observed maternal anxiety and avoidance were significantly associated. In both samples, maternal and child anxiety as reported by the mother was positively and significantly correlated. Implications, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.
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