Guided Self-Help as Intervention for Traumatic Stress in Parents of Children with Cancer: Conceptualization, Intervention Strategies, and a Case Study
Early psychological adjustment (PA) of mothers of children with cancer (MCC) and mothers of children with acute illnesses (MCA) were compared, and predictors and mediators of maternal adjustment were tested. Sixty-nine MCC and 22 MCA completed standardized measures of depression, anxiety, global mental health (GMH), concurrent stress and strains, social support, coping strategies and child behavior. MCC reported greater depressive symptomatology, emotion-focused coping, and social support than did MCA. For MCC, emotion-focused coping and child behavior both predicted depression, anxiety, and GMH; concurrent stress and strain mediated the relationship between child behavior and depression and between emotion-focused coping and each measure of adjustment. For MCA, only emotion-focused coping predicted PA and concurrent stress and strains mediated the relationship between emotion-focused coping and depression. These findings suggest that MCC have more PA difficulties that are uniquely related to their child's behavior than MCA. Concurrent stress and strains seems to be an important mediator of PA for both groups of mothers.