Parent-Child Communication and Child Distress In Response to a Child’s Diagnosis of Cancer
Childhood cancer is a disease that affects a relatively small number of children and families in the US each year, but those families who are affected are often devastated. The stress and heartbreak of childhood cancer affects not only the patient’s emotions but also deeply affects the parents and other family members. Unfortunately, the problem does not end with the family having higher stress levels, but these higher stress levels can lead to an entirely new set of problems for the child and the family in the form of significant emotional distress, psychopathology or psychopathological symptoms, developmental problems, and social deficiencies. Despite the good news that childhood cancer is becoming increasingly more curable, there are lasting negative effects from the cancer called “late effects” that continue to adversely effect the patients for decades to come (Gloeker, Percy & Bunin, 1995). So, not only are childhood cancer victims prone to developing problems during treatment, but these problems are not quickly resolved once the child has completed treatment and gone into remission.