Every year around 21, teenagers and young adults in Australia are told their parent has cancer. Young people typically rise to the challenge, wanting to be a source of strength and support for their parents.
This can make it hard for parents to recognise when their child might need help. And for a parent, talking to children about their cancer may be the only thing more difficult than facing their own diagnosis. They may experience changes in family relationships, household roles and routines and social and emotional difficulties.
Our research, recently published in the journal Psycho-Oncology , showed young people whose parents have cancer report levels of psychological distress three to six times higher than others their age. Not all young people will be equally vulnerable to experiencing distress.
Man Laws Revealed-One Man's Insight on Love, Self-Improvement, Dating, Marriage, & Parenting book. Read 2 reviews from the world's largest community for. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Rate this book. Clear rating. 1 of 5 stars2 of 5 stars3 of 5 stars4 of 5 stars5 of 5 stars Man Laws Revealed: One Man's Insight on Love, Self-Improvement, Dating, Marriage, and Parenting.
Previous research notes factors predicting significant distress include being female, being older, having high family conflict or poor communication and having more unmet needs. Having a father with cancer, rather than the mother, being closer to the time of diagnosis and having high family conflict or poor communication can predict higher levels of unmet needs.
Looking for combinations of these factors can help identify the young people who may be at greater psychological risk and increase opportunities for providing them with appropriate support. An older adolescent female, for instance, whose father was recently diagnosed and whose family is struggling with conflict and communication may be experiencing high distress and needs.
A younger adolescent male whose mother was diagnosed a few years ago and whose family communicates well and without conflict may experience less distress. Providing young people with information — including diagnosis, medical tests, treatment, side effects, likely outcomes and chances of recovery — in a family environment that fosters open communication is one way parents can support their children.
Parents, however, often find it hard to know how to talk to their teenage or young adult children about cancer. CanTeen is currently developing guidelines for health professionals to assist parents in having these conversations. Organisations such as CanTeen offer a range of services and online resources for young people between 12 and 24 years who are impacted by parental cancer. These include information books ; individual support, such as online or face-to-face counselling; a peer support community ; psychosocial programs ; and recreational camps and activities.
Children with adverse childhood experiences were also less likely than those without to live in a protective home environment and have mothers who were healthy. Bethell says that parents and children can be taught to recognize and reduce the biologic, emotional and psychological impact of traumatic stress, bounce back when faced with a challenge, and to develop a habit of hope instead of despair. Efforts to support children, families and communities, so they can create a culture that supports safe, stable and nurturing relationships, hold great promise.
Rapid innovation and studies documenting best methods and their impact are called for now. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD Skip Navigation.