Adolescent cancer survivors. Psychosocial and familial adaptation

Psychosomatics. Sep-Oct 1994;35(5):453-9. doi: 10.1016/S0033-3182(94)71739-4.


Adolescent cancer survivors were compared with nondiseased control subjects on measures of adaptation, coping, body image, sexual adjustment, psychopathology, and family functioning. Cancer survivors reported no major difficulties in social competence, overall coping, and family communication. Although their school teachers reported no symptoms of psychopathology, the cancer survivors did report body image disturbances and adjustment difficulties. Further, the surviving adolescents were eager to present themselves favorably. Compared with nondiseased control families, families of survivors were characterized as somewhat inflexible. Implications for clinical practice include the careful monitoring of youth who have survived cancer as well as sensitivity to underlying concerns that the survivors and their families may avoid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adolescent
  • Body Image
  • Communication
  • Family / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Personality Development*
  • Precursor Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma / psychology*
  • Psychosexual Development
  • Sick Role*