Date Approved

2021

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Committee Member

Michelle Byrd, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Flora Hoodin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Angela D. Staples, Ph.D.

Abstract

Childhood cancer is a lifelong, whole-family diagnosis. The coping strategies employed by parents of children with cancer have implications for the family system both during and after their diagnosed child’s treatment. The current study found that activism, or actions taken on behalf of the greater childhood cancer community by individual parents, is an activity that parents (N = 67) universally engaged in after their child was diagnosed with cancer. Consistent with study hypotheses, activism was positively associated with aspects of well-being such as hope and resilience, and it was also positively associated with an active coping style. Activism was not associated with depression in this sample. Notably, participants qualitatively reported acute stressors related to activism alongside rich benefits. The current study contributes significantly to understanding the role of childhood-cancer-related activism as a coping strategy for parents whose children have been diagnosed with the disease.

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Psychology Commons

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