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


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 


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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

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