Informing children about a parent's terminal illness

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1985 Nov;26(6):995-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1985.tb00613.x.


It has been suggested that supplying children with explicit information about the terminal illness of a parent is likely to enhance their coping with anxiety. To examine this claim, the anxiety level of 18 children who were informed by their parents was compared with that of 26 children who were not thus informed. The anxiety of the informed group was significantly lower. The results also show meaningful differences between developmental levels among the non-informed only. Possible explanations and implications of the results are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Child
  • Death*
  • Female
  • Grief
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parents*
  • Truth Disclosure*