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Psychosocial functioning and career decision-making in Israeli adolescent and young adult cancer survivors


  • Portions of this article were presented to the meetings of the American Psychological Association, 2007. This project was conducted while the senior author was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Haifa and Rambam Medical Center in 2006.

  • Conflict of interest: Nothing to declare.



This study examined how dispositional optimism, health vulnerability, and time perspective were related to adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancer survivors' career decision-making (CDM) and quality of life (QOL). Secondarily, how cultural factors relate to CDM and QOL among Israeli-Jewish and Israeli-Arab cancer survivors was explored.


Fifty-one cancer survivors (68.6% females, 80.4% Israeli-Jewish, 19.6% Israeli-Arab, Mage = 21.45 years), at least 6 months post-active treatment (Mtime = 5.75 years) completed self-report questionnaires.


Multiple regression analyses indicated that optimism, vulnerability, and past negative, present fatalistic, and future time perspective were significantly associated with QOL (F(6, 47) = 6.80, P < 0.001) and CDM (F(6, 47) = 2.46, P < 0.04). Perceived vulnerability explained the main portion of QOL variance with greater vulnerability associated with lowered QOL (β = 0.33, P < 0.001). Optimism was positively associated with QOL (β = 0.55, P < 0.02). Greater present fatalistic time perspective was associated with greater CDM difficulties (β = 0.32, P < 0.05). Multivariate analyses indicated greater past negative time perceptions (F(1, 46) = 8.92, P < 0.005) and fatalism about the future (F(1, 46) = 5.90, P < 0.02) among Israeli-Arabs as compared to Israeli-Jewish survivors. Israeli-Jewish survivors were more optimistic than Israeli-Arab survivors (F(1, 46) = 3.48, P < 0.065).


Vulnerability, optimism, and time perspective were significantly associated with QOL and CDM among Israeli AYA cancer survivors. Israeli-Arabs viewed their pasts and futures more negatively and reported lower optimism than Israeli-Jews. Implications for future research and interventions were considered. Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2010;55:708–713. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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