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Problem Solving and Maternal Distress at the Time of Child's Cancer Diagnosis: English Versus Spanish-Speaking Mothers

Pilsner, Alison Marie (2008) Problem Solving and Maternal Distress at the Time of Child's Cancer Diagnosis: English Versus Spanish-Speaking Mothers. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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In the United States, cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children; approximately 9500 new cases of were diagnosed in 2006 among children under 19 years of age. Among these children it was estimated that 1850 of these cases were Hispanic children. Survival rates have sharply risen over the past 25 years and now more than 75% of children diagnosed with cancer in the US are alive 5 years after diagnosis. This increase in childhood survival rates have exposed a need for increased understanding of parental functioning following their child's cancer diagnosis. While a majority of parents report increased distress following a traumatic event such as a child's cancer diagnosis, the aim of this study was to investigate distress and problem-solving skills between English (N=253) and monolingual Spanish-speaking (N=44) mothers. Data for this study was extracted from a pre-existing data set from a large intervention study on maternal problem-solving skills training and participants were mothers who were recruited within 2 to 16 weeks following their child's cancer diagnosis. Compared with English-speaking mothers, monolingual Spanish-speaking mothers reported greater distress and poorer problem-solving skills at baseline, but only one distress measure (IES-R) was significant after controlling for maternal education. The findings from this exploratory analysis are significant to public health because it is important to assess psychosocial adjustment following traumatic events, such as a child's cancer diagnosis, among the fastest growing minority population in the United States. It is also important to determine the contribution of socio-cultural characteristics to parental adjustment for minority populations. A better understanding of these socio-cultural differences in family adjustment to traumatic events has the potential to create interventions to improve the quality of life for families.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pilsner, Alison
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAbatemarco, Diane Jdja17@pitt.eduDJA17
Committee MemberButler, Jamesjbutler9@pitt.eduJBUTLER9
Committee MemberNoll, Robert
Date: 27 June 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 17 April 2008
Approval Date: 27 June 2008
Submission Date: 11 April 2008
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: cancer; child; hispanic; latina; posttraumatic stress; socio-cultural; women
Other ID:, etd-04112008-051223
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:35
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:39


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