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Pediatric PsychooncologyPsychological Perspectives on Children with Cancer$
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David J. Bearison and Raymond K. Mulhern

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780195079319

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195079319.001.0001

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Sibling Adaptation to the Family Crisis of Childhood Cancer

Sibling Adaptation to the Family Crisis of Childhood Cancer

(p.122) 6 Sibling Adaptation to the Family Crisis of Childhood Cancer
Pediatric Psychooncology

David J. Bearison

Raymond K. Mulhern

Oxford University Press

Childhood cancer is a family crisis that poses a range of stressors and demands that affect the entire family. From a family-systems orientation, this chapter reviews studies of how siblings of pediatric cancer patients cope with and adapt to this crisis and the kinds of family-focused interventions that can help them. Such crises can trigger an array of emotional, behavioral, and somatic symptoms of distress. The achievement of medical milestones and the discovery of devastating setbacks in the patient, such as relapse, also present potential crises for families that further challenge their adaptive functioning. The emphasis in pediatric oncology has shifted in the past decade to the medical treatment and supportive care of children with chronic life-threatening diseases that are potentially curable.

Keywords:   family crisis, family-systems orientation, distress, pediatric oncology, relapse

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