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Pastoral Psychology

, Volume 39, Issue 5, pp 295–304 | Cite as

The role of religion in coping with childhood cancer

  • Bernard Spilka
  • William J. Zwartjes
  • Georgia M. Zwartjes
Articles

Abstract

The role of religion in the crisis of childhood cancer was explored through interviews with 265 members of 118 families that had a child with cancer. Measures of family and patient religiosity were related to a broad spectrum of parental and patient perceptions and activities. Evidence was obtained that the religion related positively to familial support of the patient and efforts to keep school performance at pre-illness levels. There were signs of a narrowing of the family's social field while relationships with close friends were strengthened. Religion appeared to act as a protective-defensive system that motivated efforts by family members to cope constructively with the crisis of illness.

Keywords

Family Member Broad Spectrum School Performance Close Friend Childhood Cancer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernard Spilka
    • 1
  • William J. Zwartjes
    • 2
  • Georgia M. Zwartjes
    • 2
  1. 1.University of DenverUSA
  2. 2.Penobscot Bay Medical CenterRockland

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