Social support and adolescent cancer survivors: a review of the literature
Article first published online: 17 AUG 2006
Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 1–11, January 2007
How to Cite
Decker, C. L. (2007), Social support and adolescent cancer survivors: a review of the literature. Psycho-Oncology, 16: 1–11. doi: 10.1002/pon.1073
- Issue published online: 27 DEC 2006
- Article first published online: 17 AUG 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 27 APR 2006
- Manuscript Revised: 17 MAR 2006
- Manuscript Received: 26 AUG 2005
- American Cancer Society
- Walther Cancer Institute
- social support;
With survival rates increasing dramatically in pediatric cancer, concern has increasingly focused on the psychosocial aspects of the cancer experience. Clearly, the experience of a cancer diagnosis and treatment of cancer places high demands on the coping of adolescents. Research has shown social support to be effective in decreasing stress and enhancing coping in adolescents facing such demands. A review and critical analysis of studies of social support in adolescent cancer survivors was conducted. The seventeen studies were mainly descriptive and exploratory in nature with social support examined for a number of outcome variables in eight of the studies. Findings from this review indicate that support from parents (especially the mother) and friends were extremely important and that the adolescents were satisfied with family support. Support from friends was described as less satisfactory. Methodological concerns of the reviewed studies include small samples and a lack of consistency in the instruments used to assess social support. Future studies of social support for adolescent cancer survivors should include larger samples to determine gender, age group, and ethnic differences and to allow the examination of social support theoretical models specific to the developmental and chronic illness situation of these adolescents. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.