Quality of Life Research

, Volume 19, Issue 9, pp 1373–1380 | Cite as

The relationship between parental overprotection and health-related quality of life in pediatric cancer: the mediating role of perceived child vulnerability

  • Stephanie E. HullmannEmail author
  • Cortney Wolfe-Christensen
  • William H. Meyer
  • Rene Y. McNall-Knapp
  • Larry L. Mullins



The current study sought to examine the relation of parental overprotection and perceived child vulnerability to parent-reported health-related quality of life in parents of children with cancer.


Parents (N = 89) of children who had been diagnosed with cancer completed measures of parental overprotection, perceived child vulnerability, and parent-proxy report of health-related quality of life.


After controlling for theoretically relevant covariates, parental overprotection and perceived child vulnerability were both found to be significantly related to child health-related quality of life. Additional analyses revealed that perceived child vulnerability mediated the relationship between overprotective parenting behaviors and the child’s health-related quality of life.


The findings highlight the need to assess for these discrete parenting variables in parents of children with cancer and to develop interventions to target parental perceptions of vulnerability.


Cancer Child Quality of life Overprotection Vulnerability 



Acute lymphoblastic leukemia


Child vulnerability scale


Health insurance portability and accountability act


Health-related quality of life


Institutional review board


Pediatric quality of life inventory 3.0 cancer module


Parent protection scale


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie E. Hullmann
    • 1
    Email author
  • Cortney Wolfe-Christensen
    • 2
  • William H. Meyer
    • 3
  • Rene Y. McNall-Knapp
    • 3
  • Larry L. Mullins
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyOklahoma State UniversityStillwaterUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics/NeurologyChildren’s Hospital of MichiganDetroitUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsOklahoma University Health Sciences CenterOklahoma CityUSA

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