Adolescents' struggle against bone cancer: an explorative study on optimistic expectations of the future, resiliency and coping strategies

Authors


Martina Smorti, Faculty of Education, Free University of Bozen, Viale Ratisbona 16, 39042 Bressanone, Italy (e-mail: martina.smorti@unibz.it).

Abstract

SMORTI M. (2011) European Journal of Cancer Care21, 251–258

Adolescents' struggle against bone cancer: an explorative study on optimistic expectations of the future, resiliency and coping strategies

The present study aims to assess adolescents' expectations of the future after bone cancer treatment and to investigate in greater depth the relationship between expectations of the future, resilience and coping strategies. Thirty-two adolescents with cancer experience (11–20 years old), who had a complete first remission at least 1 month after the end of successful treatment, were requested to respond to the Expectations for Future Scale, the Ego-Resiliency Scale and Coping Strategy Indicators. Forty-eight gender- and age-matched control adolescents were randomly selected from a normative sample (NORMs). Adolescents with cancer experience had more optimistic expectations of the future and were less open to experience compared to NORMs. They had lower global ego-resiliency, higher impulse control and tended to use more avoidance strategies than NORMs. In adolescents with cancer experience, expectations of the future were negatively related to global ego-resiliency and positively related to impulse control and avoidance. Expectations of the future were positively correlated with global ego-resiliency and openness to new experience and negatively correlated with impulse control in NORMs. Patients' positive expectations of the future may relate to positive adjustment to cancer events; however, they could also express unrealistic optimism.

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