All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Sylvie Mrug

Advisory Committee Members

Avi Madan-Swain

Sean Phipps

David C Schwebel

Kimberly Whelan

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2015

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences

Abstract

With improved survival rates for children diagnosed with cancer brings a focus on the psychological adjustment of both children and caregivers. Benefit finding, defined as positive change in the face of adversity, has been documented among caregivers of children with cancer and other chronic illness conditions. The first manuscript is a comprehensive literature review of studies investigating benefit finding among caregivers of children with chronic illness conditions, including caregiver demographic and psychosocial, and child demographic and medical predictors, as well as outcomes of benefit finding. The second manuscript reports on predictors of benefit finding in a sample of caregivers of childhood cancer survivors, and indicated that positive spiritual coping, optimism, and illness impact uniquely predicted benefit finding. The third manuscript examined outcomes of benefit finding among caregivers, specifically as benefit finding relates to quality of life. The relationship between benefit finding and quality of life was moderated by demographic and psychosocial variables such that benefit finding was more strongly related to quality of life for caregivers with lower resources. Overall, results point to caregivers who may be at greater risk for reduced psychological health outcomes and identify points of intervention to promote positive adaptation among caregivers of childhood cancer survivors.

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