TitleDevelopment of a time-limited group for adolescents with a relative who has cancer
NameRuch, Jason Thomas (author), Gantwerk, Lewis (chair), Haboush, Karen L (internal member), Rutgers University, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology,
Cancer—Patients—Family relationships--New Jersey--Case studies,
Cancer—Social aspects--New Jersey--Case studies,
Group counseling for teenagers--New Jersey--Case studies,
Teenagers—Mental health services--New Jersey--Case studies,
Teenagers--Social networks--New Jersey--Case studies
DescriptionThis study explores the emotional and psychological needs of a group of adolescents who have a relative diagnosed with cancer. When a family endures a diagnosis of cancer, the entire family can be profoundly affected, including the healthy children in the family. Relatives of children with cancer are at an increased risk for Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome as well as other emotional disturbances (Woodgate, 2006). For the present study, five adolescents took part in a qualitative interview process, and were self-referred through the Relay for Life, Ocean County, NJ chapter of the American Cancer Society. The goal of the study was to operationalize and better define the experience of having a loved one diagnosed with cancer and then determine the components of an effective support group. It was hypothesized that if adolescents participate in the development of a social support group, it will be more successful in retaining participants in the future. A qualitative research design was used to: 1) gain a better understanding of the overall experience of having a relative diagnosed with cancer and 2) to identify the specific needs of the adolescents who participated in the qualitative interview. The results of this study illustrate the gravity of having a loved one diagnosed with cancer, especially during adolescence. The primary themes that arose in this study included: 1) a need for more information regarding cancer and its treatment; 2) a need for emotional support; and 3) a psychosocial component to address positive and negative coping mechanisms. With the increased demands of school and social pressures on adolescents, there is a corresponding need for groups to help adolescents understand what is occurring, and learn how to cope when a family member is diagnosed with cancer. The results of this study are intended to guide future research, improve the experience of having a relative diagnosed with cancer, and provide a model for the development of future adolescent social support groups.
NoteIncludes bibliographical references
Noteby Jason Thomas Ruch
CollectionGraduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Organization NameRutgers, The State University of New Jersey
RightsThe author owns the copyright to this work.