Get access

Single fatherhood due to cancer

Authors


Department of Psychiatry, University of North Carolina, 170 Manning Drive, CB# 7218, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 USA. E-mail: justin_yopp@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Cancer is a leading cause of widowed fatherhood in the USA. Fathers whose spouses have died from cancer constitute a potentially vulnerable population as they adjust to their role as sole or primary caregiver while managing their own grief and that of their children. The importance of addressing the psychological needs of widowed fathers is underscored by data showing that father's coping and emotional availability are closely tied to their bereaved children's mental health. Surprisingly, scant attention has been given to the phenomenon of widowed fatherhood with virtually no clinical resources or research studies devoted to fathers who have lost their wives to cancer. This commentary highlights key challenges facing this underserved population of widowers and calls for development of research agendas and clinical interventions for single fathers due to cancer. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Ancillary