Examination of the coping processes of caregivers of children with cancer

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology, Turkey

Approval Date: 2013




The general aim of the present dissertation was to examine the coping processes of the caregivers of children with cancer. It was composed of three studies, whose aims were (1) to reveal the predictors of caregiver distress by using the Transactional Theory of Coping among the caregivers of children with cancer; (2) to identify the factors associated with caregiving process from the caregiver’s perspective qualitatively; (3) to develop and implement an intervention program. Study 1 was conducted with 105 participants, who filled in the questionnaire set. The findings revealed the predictors of depressive and anxiety symptoms and dissatisfaction with life. Study 2 examined subjective experiences of the caregivers. Interviews were conducted with 20 participants and the identified themes were emotions, change, and coping. Study 3 included the development and testing the effectiveness of an intervention program. A multidimensional group intervention was planned, and applied to 16 participants. The findings indicated that the participants reported higher levels of positive affect and lower levels of negative affect after the intervention, as compared to their reports before the intervention. The possible explanations of the results were explored and the clinical and research implications were discussed. Overall, the study examined the coping process of the caregivers of children with cancer in a constructive way with the ultimate aim of facilitating adjustment, and also shed light on the important factors in the development of intervention programs.