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Impact of a parent-based interdisciplinary intervention for mothers on adjustment in children newly diagnosed with cancer



Impact of a parent-based interdisciplinary intervention for mothers on adjustment in children newly diagnosed with cancer



Journal of Pediatric Psychology 38(5): 531-540



To determine if maternal distress predicts child adjustment outcomes or if child adjustment outcomes predict maternal distress among children newly diagnosed with cancer, and if a parent-focused intervention has downstream effects on child adjustment. Mothers (n = 52) were randomly assigned to a clinic-based, interdisciplinary intervention for parents of children newly diagnosed with cancer. Measures of maternal distress and child adjustment were collected at baseline, posttreatment, and follow-up. A lagged relationship was identified between maternal distress and child internalizing symptoms, but not externalizing symptoms. The parent intervention reduced child internalizing and externalizing symptoms at follow-up. Only the child internalizing symptoms effect was mediated by reduced maternal distress. The child externalizing symptoms effect was mediated by unobserved parent factors. This study provides support for illness adjustment and coping models that emphasize the role of parent factors in driving child adjustment outcomes and is encouraging for future parent-focused intervention research.

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Accession: 036797839

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23471362

DOI: 10.1093/jpepsy/jst010


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