Theoretical Perspectives of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Quality of Life Among Young Adult Survivors of Childhood Cancer

  • Fatima Boulmalf
  • Tanya R. Fitzpatrick


Cancer, from diagnosis to treatment and remission, is an event that causes extreme psychological stress and turmoil, especially when experienced during childhood, as it is a stage of rapid development and significant vulnerability. The purpose of this chapter is to examine theoretical perspectives in relation to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and quality of life among adult survivors of childhood cancer. The traumatic nature of the childhood cancer experience and its impact on the survivor’s psychological well-being and quality of life years after the termination of treatment are analyzed using a range of models and frameworks, notably the diathesis-stress model. From this model, the concept of cognitive vulnerability emerged, leading the way for the development of numerous theories, including the shattered assumptions hypothesis, the terror management theory, and anxiety sensitivity. The social causation and social erosion hypotheses are very helpful in examining the relationship between post-traumatic stress symptoms and perceived social support. Post-traumatic stress has serious implications on subjective quality of life and independence and must be addressed early on to prevent further suffering of survivors.


PTSD Theories Quality of life Survivors of childhood cancer 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fatima Boulmalf
    • 1
  • Tanya R. Fitzpatrick
    • 2
  1. 1.McGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Social WorkArizona State UniversityWestmountCanada

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