Korean mothers’ psychosocial adjustment to their children's cancer


Hae-Ra Han, School of Nursing, The Johns Hopkins University, 525 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205-2110, USA.
E-mail: hhan@son.jhmi.edu


Background.  During the course of adjustment to their child's illness and medical treatment, parents of children with cancer may experience numerous challenges and difficulties. Although parental adjustment has been a research topic for many years, little research has been conducted among families in different cultures and countries.

Aim.  To identify factors that influence maternal psychosocial adjustment to childhood cancer using a new cultural group: Korean.

Methods.  A sample of 200 Korean mothers of children with cancer was included in the study. Guided by the double ABCX model of family adjustment and adaptation, a series of variables (i.e. maternal stress, coping, social support and selected illness-related and demographic questions) were examined for their relationships with maternal psychosocial adjustment to childhood cancer.

Results.  Using a hierarchical multiple regression, we found perceived level of stress, coping, social support, and time since diagnosis to be significant correlates of maternal psychosocial adjustment. Stress accounted for most (50%) of the total variance explained (56%) in maternal adjustment.

Conclusion.  The results suggest that the stress-coping framework may be appropriate in explaining maternal responses to childhood cancer across cultures.