Advertisement

Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp 179–193 | Cite as

Children's Adjustment to Parental Physical Illness

  • Yolanda G. Korneluk
  • Catherine M. Lee
Article

Abstract

We review recent empirical literature examining the impact of parent physical illness on child functioning. We review studies of illness characteristics (n = 16), individual characteristics (n = 6), and family characteristics (n = 6). Although children's self-reports indicate heightened distress, parental reports do not suggest more problematic functioning. Child adjustment appears to be more closely related to perceptions of stressfulness rather than to objective illness severity indices. Adolescent girls seem to represent a group at heightened risk. Preliminary results suggest that family variables such as cohesion, conflict, and individual and family coping styles are important predictors of child adjustment.

Parent illness coping child adjustment stress 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

REFERENCES

  1. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Integrative guide for the 1991 CBCL/ 4–18, YSR and TRF profiles. Burlington, University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, C. A., & Hammen, C. L. (1993). Psychosocial outcomes of children of unipolar depressed, bipolar, medically ill, and normal women: A longitudinal study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 61, 448–454.Google Scholar
  3. Armistead, L., Klein, K., & Forehand, R. (1995). Parental physical illness and child functioning. Clinical Psychology Review, 15, 409–422.Google Scholar
  4. Armistead, L., Klein, K., Forehand, R., & Weirson, M. (1997). Disclosure of parental HIV infection in the families of men with hemophilia: Description, outcomes, & the role of family processes. Journal of Family Psychology, 11, 49–61.Google Scholar
  5. Armsden, G. C., & Lewis, F. M. (1994). Behavioral adjustment and self-esteem of school-age children of women with breast cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 21, 39–45.Google Scholar
  6. Burman, B., & Margolin, G. (1992). Analysis of the association between marital relationships and health problems: An interactional perspective. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 39–63.Google Scholar
  7. Christ, G. H., Siegel, K., Mesagno, F. P., & Langosch, D. (1991). A preventive intervention program for bereaved children: Problems of implementation. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 61, 168–178.Google Scholar
  8. Christ, G. H., Siegel, K., & Sperber, D. (1994). Impact of parental terminal cancer on adolescents. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 64, 604–613.Google Scholar
  9. Compas, B. E., Banez, G. A., Malcarne, V., & Worsham, N. (1991). Perceived control and coping with stress: A developmental perspective. Journal of Social Issues, 47, 23–34.Google Scholar
  10. Compas, B. E., Orosan, P, G., & Grant, K. E. (1993). Adolescent stress and coping implications for psychopathology during adolescence. Journal of Adolescence, 16, 331–349.Google Scholar
  11. Compas, B. E., Worsham, N. L., Epping-Jordan, J. E., Grant, K. E., Mireault, G., Howell, D. C., & Malcarne, V. L. (1994). When mom or dad has cancer: Markers of psychological distress in cancer patients, spouses, and children. Health Psychology, 13, 507–515.Google Scholar
  12. Compas, B. E., Worsham, N. L, Ey, S., & Howell, D. C. (1996). When mom or dad has cancer: II. Coping, cognitive appraisals, and psychological distress in children of cancer patient. Health Psychology, 15, 167–175.Google Scholar
  13. Conrad, M., & Hammen, C. (1993). Protective and resource factors in high-and low-risk children: A comparison of children with unipolar, bipolar, medically ill, and normal mothers. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 593–607.Google Scholar
  14. Cummings, E. M., & Davies, P. (1994). Children and marital conflict: The impact of family dispute and resolution. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  15. Dura, J. R., & Beck, S. J. (1988). A comparison of family functioning when mothers have chronic pain. Pain, 35, 79–89.Google Scholar
  16. Erel, O., & Burman, B. (1995). Interrelatedness of marital relations and parent-child relations: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 118, 108–132.Google Scholar
  17. Field, T., Alpert, B., Vega-Lahr, N., Goldstein, S., & Perry, S. (1988). Hospitalization stress in children: Sensizer and repressor coping styles. Health Psychology, 7, 433–445.Google Scholar
  18. Fields, L., & Prinz, R. J. (1997). Coping and adjustment during childhood and adolescence. Clinical Psychology Review, 17, 937–976.Google Scholar
  19. Fisher, L., Terry, H. E., & Ransom, D. C. (1990). Advancing a family perspective in health research: Models and methods. Family Process, 29, 177–189.Google Scholar
  20. Forehand, R., Steele, R., Armistead, L., Morse, E., Simon, P., & Clark, L. (1998). The family health project: Psychosocial adjustment of children whose mothers are HIV infected. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 66, 513–520.Google Scholar
  21. Gordon-Walker, J., Johnson, S., Manion, I., & Cloutier, P. (1996). Emotionally-focused marital intervention for couples with chronically ill children. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 64, 1029–1036.Google Scholar
  22. Gotlib, I, H., & Lee, C. M. (1996). The impact of parental depression on young children and infants. In C. Mundt, M. J., Goldstein, K. Hahlweg, & P. Fiedler (Eds.), Interpersonal factors in the origin and course of affective disorders (pp. 218–239). London: Gaskell, Royal College of Psychiatrists Press.Google Scholar
  23. Gottman, J. M., Katz, L. F., & Hooven, C. (1996). Parental metaemotion philosophy and emotional life of families: Theoretical models and preliminary data. Journal of Family Psychology, 10, 243–268.Google Scholar
  24. Grant, K. E., & Compas, B. E. (1995). Stress and anxious-de-pressed symptoms among adolescents: Searching for mechanisms of risk. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 63, 1015–1021.Google Scholar
  25. Greening, K. (1992). The “Bear Essentials” program: Helping young children and their families cope when a parent has cancer. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 10, 47–61.Google Scholar
  26. Hammen, C., Gordon, D., Burge, D., Adrian, C., Jaenicke, C., & Hiroto, D. (1987). Maternal affective disorders, illness, and stress: Risk for children's psychopathology. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144, 736–741.Google Scholar
  27. Hirsch, B. J., Moos, R. H., & Reischl, T. M. (1985). Psychosocial adjustment of adolescent children of a depressed, arthritic, or normal parent. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 94, 154–164.Google Scholar
  28. Horwitz, W. A., & Kazak, A. E. (1990). Family adaptation to childhood cancer: Sibling and family systems variables. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 19, 221–228.Google Scholar
  29. Howes, M. J., Hoke, L., Winterbottom, M., & Delafield, D. (1994). Psychosocial effects of breast cancer on the patient's children. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 12, 1–21.Google Scholar
  30. Issel, L. M., Erseck, M., & Lewis, F. M. (1990). How children cope with mother's breast cancer. Oncology Nursing Forum, 17, 5–13.Google Scholar
  31. Jamison, R. N., & Walker, L. S. (1992). Illness behavior in children of chronic pain patients. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 22, 329–342.Google Scholar
  32. Katz, L. F., & Gottman, J. M. (1997). Buffering children from marital conflict and dissolution. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 26, 157–171.Google Scholar
  33. Kazak, A. E., & Barakat, L. P. (1997). Parenting stress and quality of life during treatment for childhood leukemia predicts child and parent adjustment after treatment. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 22, 749–758.Google Scholar
  34. Kazak, A. E., & Nachman, G. S. (1991). Family research on childhood chronic illness: Pediatric oncology as an example. Journal of Family Psychology, 4, 462–483.Google Scholar
  35. Kazak, A. E., Christakis, D., Alderfer, M., & Coiro, M. J. (1994). Young adolescent cancer survivors and their parents: Adjustment, learning problems, and gender. Journal of Family Psychology, 8, 74–84.Google Scholar
  36. Kazdin, A. (1997). A model for developing effective treatments: Progression and interplay of theory, research, and practice. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 26, 114–129.Google Scholar
  37. Kirby, R. J., & Whelan, T. A. (1996). The effects of hospitalization and medical procedures on children and their families. Journal of Family Studies, 2, 65–77.Google Scholar
  38. Kliewer, W., & Lewis, H. (1995). Family influences on coping processes in children and adolescents with Sickle Cell Disease. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 20, 511–525.Google Scholar
  39. Kliewer, W., Fearnow, M. D., & Miller, P. A. (1996). Coping socialization in middle childhood: Tests of maternal and paternal influences. Child Development, 67, 2339–2357.Google Scholar
  40. Kotchick, B. A., Forehand, R., Armistead, L., Klein, K., & Wierson, M. (1996). Coping with Illness: Interrelationships across family members and predictors of psychological adjustment. Journal of Family Psychology, 10, 358–370.Google Scholar
  41. Kotchick, B. A., Summers, P., Forehand, R., & Steele, R. G. (1997). The role of parental and extrafamilial social support in the psychosocial adjustment of children with a chronically ill father. Behavior Modification, 21, 409–432.Google Scholar
  42. Lee, C. M., & Gotlib, I. H. (1989). Maternal depression and child adjustment: A longitudinal analysis. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 98, 78–85.Google Scholar
  43. Lewis, F. M., Hammond, M. A., & Woods, N. F. (1993). The family's functioning with newly-diagnosed breast cancer in the mother: The development of an explanatory model. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 16, 351–370.Google Scholar
  44. Lewis, F. M., Woods, N. F., Hough, E. E., & Bensley, L. S. (1989). The family's functioning with chronic illness in the mother: The spouse's perspective. Social Science Medicine, 29, 1261–1269.Google Scholar
  45. Mash, E. J., & Terdal, L. G. (1997). Assessment of child and family disturbance. In E. J. Mash & L. G. Terdal (Eds.). Assessment of childhood disorders (3rd ed., pp. 3–68). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  46. Mikail, S. F., & von Baeyer, C. L. (1990). Pain, somatic focus, and emotional adjustment in children of chronic headache sufferers and controls. Social Science Medicine, 31, 51–59.Google Scholar
  47. Mireault, G. C., & Compas, B. E. (1996). A prospective study of coping and adjustment before and after a parent's death from cancer. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 14, 1–18.Google Scholar
  48. Morgan, J., Sanford, M., & Johnson, C. (1992). The impact of a physically ill parent on adolescents: Cross-sectional findings from a clinic population. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 37, 423–427.Google Scholar
  49. Northouse, L. (1984). The impact of cancer on the family: An overview. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 14, 215–242.Google Scholar
  50. Pederson, L. M., & Valanis, B. G. (1988). The effects of breast cancer on the family: A review of the literature. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 6, 95–118.Google Scholar
  51. Peters, L. C., & Esses, L. M. (1985). Family environment as perceived by children with a chronically ill parent. Journal of Chronic Diseases, 38, 301–308.Google Scholar
  52. Prinstein, M. J., La Greca, A., Vernberg, E. M., & Silverman, W. K. (1996). Children's coping assistance: How parents, teachers, and friends help children cope after a natural disaster. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 25, 463–475.Google Scholar
  53. Reiss, D., Steinglass, P., & Howe, G. (1993). The family's organization around the illness. In R. E. Cole & D. Reiss (Eds.), How do families cope with chronic illness?. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  54. Richters, J. E. (1992). Depressed mothers as informants about their children: A critical review of the evidence for distortion. Psychological Bulletin, 112, 485–499.Google Scholar
  55. Rickard, K. (1988). The occurrence of maladaptive health-related behaviors and teacher-rated conduct problems in children of chronic low back pain patients. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 11, 107–116.Google Scholar
  56. Rolland, J. S. (1987). Chronic illness and the life cycle: A conceptual framework. Family Process, 26, 203–221.Google Scholar
  57. Rolland, J. S. (1988). A conceptual model of chronic and life-threatening illness and its impact on the family. In C. Chilman, E. Nunnally, & F. Cox (Eds.), Chronic illness and disability (pp. 143–169). Beverly Hills CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  58. Rolland, J. S. (1990). Anticipatory loss: A family systems developmental framework. Family Process, 29, 229–244.Google Scholar
  59. Rolland, J. S. (1993). Mastering family challenges in serious illness and disability. In F. Walsh (Ed.), Normal family processes (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
  60. Rolland, J. S. (1994). Families, illness and disability: An integrative treatment model. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  61. Sattler, J. M. (1998). Clinical and forensic interviewing of children and families. San Diego: Jerome Sattler.Google Scholar
  62. Siegel, K., Mesagno, F. P., Karus, D., Christ, G. H., Banks, K., & Moynihan, R. (1992). Psychosocial adjustment of children with a terminally ill parent. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 327–333.Google Scholar
  63. Steele, R. G., Forehand, R., & Armistead, L. (1997). The role of family processes and coping strategies in the relationship between parental chronic illness and childhood internalizing problems. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 25, 83–94.Google Scholar
  64. Taylor-Brown, J., Acheson, A., and Farber, J. M (1993). Kids can cope: A group intervention for children whose parents have cancer. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 11, 41–53.Google Scholar
  65. Thompson, R. J., & Gustafson, K. E. (1996). Adaptation to chronic childhood illness. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Google Scholar
  66. Walsh-Burke, K. (1992). Family communication and coping with cancer: Impact of the we-can weekend. Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, 10, 63–81.Google Scholar
  67. Welch, A. S., Wadsworth, M. E., & Compas, B. E. (1996). Adjustment of children and adolescents to parental cancer. Cancer, 77, 1409–1418.Google Scholar
  68. Wellisch, D. K., Gritz, E. R., Schain, W., Wang, H., & Siau, J. (1991). Psychological functioning of daughters of breast cancer patients. Part I: Daughters and comparison subjects. Psychosomatics, 32, 324–336.Google Scholar
  69. Woods, N. F., & Lewis, F. M. (1995). Women with chronic illness: Their views of their families' adaptation. Heath Care for Women International, 16, 135–148.Google Scholar
  70. Worsham, N. L., Compas, B. E., & Ey, S. (1997). Children's coping with parental illness. In S. A. Wolchik & I. N. Sandler (Eds.). Handbook of children's coping: Linking theory and intervention (pp. 195–213). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  71. Wright, L. M., & Leahey, M. (1994). The Calgary Family Intervention Model: One way to think about change. Journal of Marriage and Family Therapy, 20, 381–395.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yolanda G. Korneluk
    • 1
  • Catherine M. Lee
    • 2
  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Centre for Psychological Services, School of PsychologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations