Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Adolescents' Responses to Having a Mother with Cancer

Grabiak, Beth Rene (2008) Adolescents' Responses to Having a Mother with Cancer. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

Primary Text

Download (20MB) | Preview


Introduction: Each year potentially 1:270 children in the US are affected by the diagnosis of cancer in their mother. The diagnosis of cancer in a woman may cause changes in her behavior, emotions, and physical and family functioning (Lewis, 1996). In turn, these changes may impact her adolescent's behavior, school performance, emotions, and physical functioning (Visser et al., 2004). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to elicit and understand the adolescents' experience of having a mother with early stage cancer, the meaning that adolescents construct about having a mother with early stage cancer, and the processes that adolescents use in coping with having a mother with early stage cancer. Methods: This qualitative study used a grounded theory method to guide the exploration of the experience of male and female adolescents, ages 12-17 years, whose mother had been diagnosed with early stage cancer a minimum of 6 months and a maximum of 2 years ago. Each early stage cancer had a 5-year relative survival rate of 80% or greater. Adolescents' responses were elicited by a semi-structured interview guide. Findings: Adolescents experienced a process after their mother was diagnosed with cancer. After they learned the diagnosis, the process became cyclical and at times simultaneous, as cancer changed the family, the adolescents' coped, and demonstrated a sense of purpose. Conclusions: Having a mother with cancer is a significant life changing event for adolescents.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Grabiak, Beth Renebrg2@pitt.eduBRG2
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairStewart, Janetstewj@pitt.eduSTEWJ
Committee CoChairErlen, Judith Ajae001@pitt.eduJAE001
Committee MemberFertman, Carl Icarl@pitt.eduCARL
Committee MemberPuskar, Kathryn Rkrp12@pitt.eduKRP12
Date: 18 December 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 3 December 2008
Approval Date: 18 December 2008
Submission Date: 11 December 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Nursing > Nursing
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adolescent; Cancer
Other ID:, etd-12112008-103742
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item