• Tamara Krotova
Keywords: Parents, emotional state, coping strategies, children with cancer


The results of the study presented in the article aimed at finding out and empirically investigating the psychological factors of the experiences and coping behavior of parents of children with cancer. The sample includes parents of children with cancer who were treated at the National Cancer Institute of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine and the Dacha Rehabilitation Center (Kyiv). Number of respondents - 61 person, 58 women (95.1%) and 3 men (4.9%), average age - 38.21 years; used tools: method "SAN" (modification of V. Doskin), method "Self-assessment of emotional states" (A. Wessman, D. Ricks), author's questionnaire to identify objective components of the situation associated with cancer in children; test "Strategies of overcoming behavior" (R. Lazarus, adapted by L. Wasserman and E. Trifonova); G. Eisenko's personal questionnaire (edited by A. Shmelev and V. Pokhilko) and the Test of Meaningful Life Orientations (adapted by D. Leontiev). SPSS 17.0 Statistics for Windows software package was used for statistical processing of the obtained results.

It was found that the current emotional state of the subjects is relatively safe, but unstable; the situation is assessed by them as moderately positive. Aggravating factors in assessing the causes of the disease are fatalism and admission of guilt. The structure of coping behavior revealed the average level of representation of almost all types of coping and its weak differentiation, which indicates the lack of a clear coping model. It is concluded that the experiences and coping behavior of adults in an uncertain situation are closely related and due to a number of objective factors of the situation, correlate with the subjective characteristics and personal characteristics of its participants. Some objective characteristics of the situation and social-economic characteristics of its participants have some influence on the current emotional state and are partly related to the interpretation of the causes of the disease and the attitude to the disease as fate; aggravating factors of experience in assessing the causes of the disease are fatalism and admission of guilt, along with objective reasons; the greatest influence of the studied objective factors on the perception and assessment of the situation and/or the choice of coping strategies has an existence of hobby. Those relatives who use the coping strategy "Escape ‒ avoidance" need the most psychological help - its actualization correlates with a negative emotional state.


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