Oscar A Barbarin

Oscar A Barbarin
University of Maryland, College Park | UMD, UMCP, University of Maryland College Park · Department of African American Studies

Ph.D.

About

174
Publications
42,308
Reads
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9,654
Citations
Citations since 2017
16 Research Items
3909 Citations
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20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
20172018201920202021202220230100200300400500600
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - present
July 2009 - present
Tulane University
Position
  • Hertz Endowed Chair and Professor of Psychology
January 2001 - December 2010

Publications

Publications (174)
Article
A premise of positive youth development is that social competencies can develop in adversity and co-exist with problem behaviors. This research tested whether African American youth ages 9–17 who had experienced significant family stressors would form groups that displayed combinations of adversity, problem behavior, and strengths. Parents of a nat...
Article
Full-text available
Cultures across the globe have evolved time-tested rituals to honor those who die and offer solace and support to survivors with the goal of helping them to accept the reality of the death, cope with the feelings of loss, adjust to life without the deceased, and find ways to maintain a connection to the memory of the deceased. The COVID-19 pandemic...
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Around the world, individual psychologists have stepped up to deliver essential services to address the social and emotional sequelae of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many psychological organizations have also responded to this public health crisis, though their efforts may be less widely recognized. Psychological organizations engaged in preventive and m...
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Recent social movements have illuminated systemic inequities in U.S. society, including within the social sciences. Thus, it is essential that attachment researchers and practitioners engage in reflection and action to work toward anti-racist perspectives in the field. Our aims in this paper are (1) to share the generative conversations and debates...
Article
Central to attachment theory is the idea that behavior in close relationships can best be understood in context. Although decades of research have illuminated cross-cultural patterns of caregiving and attachment, there remains a critical need to increase research with African American families, examine the specific sociocultural context of systemic...
Article
The current article presents an introduction to the special issue on the development of boys and young men of color in challenging environments. The articles in this special issue, collectively, highlight how boys and young men of color successfully adapt to adverse environments, and in particular, how the unique demands of various inhibiting conte...
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Long-standing disparities exist in the rates at which African American families come under the scrutiny of child welfare systems. Disparities occur most often at the reporting stage. African Americans families are disproportionally reported to and investigated for child neglect but not physical abuse. The strains of economic disadvantage experience...
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This report summarizes what is known about the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and proposes ways for psychology organizations to engage in addressing pandemic-related challenges. A stress and coping framework is used to describe key factors that account for mental health difficulties resulting from the stress of pandemics including th...
Article
A social justice analysis of the circumstances of African-American boys and young men (AAB) reveals a pervasive pattern of negative stereotypes, disparate treatment, and resource deprivation that augur poorly for their development. Developmental science has yielded many insights about the deleterious sequelae of racism and economic disadvantage, bu...
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Black males experience extraordinary developmental risks as a consequence of the combined effects of male gender, poverty, and race. These risks are reflected in atypical behavioral and emotional development often observed in middle childhood. Not all Black males succumb to these risks. Whether or not they do is a function of exposure to adverse ch...
Article
Discerning the seriousness of socioemotional symptoms in young children can be difficult. To address this issue, the Attention, Behavior, Language, and Emotions (ABLE) universal behavioral health screener uses a rubric for severity that includes indicators of problem duration, impairment, generalizability, exacerbation, persistence, peer comparison...
Article
African American boys and young men in the United States face challenges unique to being a male and an ethnic minority in our society. Despite the marginalization of African American boys and young men, this article argues that African American boys and young men, like other individuals, are in large proportion able to overcome adversity and utiliz...
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While language differences by gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status (SES) have been identified, the domain of pragmatics, specifically, communicative functions (CF) has been understudied. Hence, the purpose of this study was toinvestigatemothers’ CFuse with African American, European American, and Latino American boys and girls of middle...
Article
Purpose: This study explores whether communicative function (CF: reasons for communicating) use differs by socioeconomic status (SES), race/ethnicity, or gender among preschoolers and their mothers. Method: Mother-preschooler dyads (N = 95) from the National Center for Early Development and Learning's (2005) study of family and social environmen...
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Achievement gaps exist between children from racial/ethnic minority and low SES homes and their peers, yet clear explanations for the gap have been elusive. In addition to vocabulary, some are examining pragmatics to help understand the gap, as functional language can a) reflect how caregivers stimulate language; b) show how preschoolers communicat...
Chapter
Boys of color (BOC) face unique challenges related to the intersection of being male and an ethnic minority in our society. There is an urgent need for a more balanced view of psychosocial functioning in BOC that highlights positive developmental trajectories. In response to this need, the current chapter provides an overview of the research on pos...
Article
Representations of young people in the national media conjure unsavory images of urban youth as out of control, emotionally labile, unmotivated, and unwilling to take responsibility for their actions. Moreover, young persons of color are often represented in stories about failing high schools in which students fall behind peers in skills and seem t...
Article
The aim of this chapter is to review briefly a range of indicators that provide some clues about the mental health status and psychosocial functioning of African American boys. The chapter presents what is known about the comparative rates of psychological difficulties observed among males under the age of 18. To provide mental health indicators, w...
Chapter
Although parent socialization practices are critical to children’s cognitive development, educational researchers know too little of how parental practices function to meet the specific challenges of supporting African American boys’ development. This chapter offers critical insights on how 15 parents of African American boys (ages 3–8) conceive an...
Article
Public education in the United States is immersed in a period of deep soul searching about how best to meet the needs of the wide range of students who enter its doors. Beginning in prekindergarten, children who are already writing their names and reading books sit alongside children who have never held a pencil or owned a book. At the other end of...
Article
This article explores the development of psychosocial competence in boys of color (BOC; 226 African Americans and 109 Latinos). Changes in competence were assessed over 2 years in cohorts of low-income BOC beginning in pre-K, kindergarten, or first grade. Psycho-social competence was assessed in terms of self-regulation, interpersonal skills, and p...
Article
Questions about socioemotional learning in boys of color (BOC) arise in light of the disproportionate rates of school adjustment difficulties BOC experience by adolescence. Socioemotional competence in BOC is assessed in terms of self-regulation, interpersonal skills, and positive relationships with peers and teachers when they enter pre-K. Changes...
Article
Relatively little attention has been paid to emotional functioning of Black boys in contrast to the attention paid to externalizing problems, even though internalizing problems are strong predictors of later well-being. This study tests a multilevel risk model of emotional well-being assessing the relation of poverty, maternal functioning, and chil...
Article
This research tests the relations of parental practices to child competence and assertions that practices differ by gender of the child. Home-based interviews and structured observations of parent-child interactions were conducted with an ethnically and socioeconomically diverse sample of families (N = 501) whose 4-year-old children were served in...
Article
Adult (age 30) educational, economic, and social-emotional adjustment outcomes were investigated for participants in the Abecedarian Project, a randomized controlled trial of early childhood education for children from low-income families. Of the original 111 infants enrolled (98% African American), 101 took part in the age 30 follow-up. Primary in...
Article
Objective: Adult caregivers provide children living with HIV with varying amounts and types of information about their health status that may affect their coping and health care behaviors. We aimed to describe patterns of information sharing with children and thoughts around disclosure among caregivers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Met...
Article
Child engagement in prekindergarten classrooms was examined using 2,751 children (mean age=4.62) enrolled in public prekindergarten programs that were part of the Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten and the State-Wide Early Education Programs Study. Latent class analysis was used to classify children into 4 profiles of classroom engagement: free...
Article
This study examines the prevalence of home–school match in childrearing beliefs and socialization practices (control and support) and their relation to ethnicity and readiness skills of children (n = 310) making the transition from publicly sponsored Pre-k to kindergarten. Home–school match was operationalized both as a continuous absolute measure...
Article
The current paper considers how children spend their time in state-funded pre-kindergarten programs and how time use relates to ethnicity, gender, and family income, based on the assumption that how time is spent in pre-kindergarten is relevant for the programs’ success in narrowing achievement gaps. Classroom observations of 2061 children in 652 p...
Article
Our efforts to ‘‘freshen’’ the journal reflect our understanding of the ways that information enters popular and professional discourse and in particular the ways that new ideas and findings reach policy makers and practitioners. The new elements of the AJO format also respond to the rapidly changing landscape in academic publishing. We foresee exp...
Article
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Incarceration is a much more common experience for African American males than White males. The ‘‘school-to-prison’’ pipeline is often invoked as a metaphor to capture the seemingly inexorable progression of African American boys. The rationale for this approach is that the more African American preschool males there are in the United States, the m...
Article
Research Findings: Using observational data gathered in 730 kindergarten classrooms in 6 states, the present study focuses on the quality of children's learning opportunities in kindergarten classrooms. Findings show that overall, children experience moderate to low levels of quality in the areas of classroom organization and instructional support...
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Research Findings: Recent evidence suggests that children benefit from pre-K programs in terms of both academic and social skills and that this growth is predicted by the quality of the interactions teachers have with students. Prior cluster analysis revealed 5 distinct quality profiles of teacher-child interactions in pre-kindergarten based on cla...
Article
Research Findings: This study analyzed the school readiness beliefs of parents of 452 children from public pre-kindergarten and the relations of these beliefs to socioeconomic status and children's readiness skills. Parents conceived readiness largely in terms of the ability to name objects, letters, or numbers, but few included inferential skills....
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Adult benefits for participants in Project CARE were compared with those of the Abecedarian Project, a closely related randomized study of early childhood educational intervention for children from low-income families who were at risk of developmental delays and school failure. CARE replicated Abecedarian's young adult treatment-related educational...
Article
Publicly funded prekindergartens are programs that most states use to promote school readiness, especially of 4-year-old children at risk for academic problems due to poverty. Despite large public expenditures, these programs have not been widely evaluated. We examined 240 randomly selected pre-kindergarten programs in six states with mature progra...
Article
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In the present study, the authors use the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort of 1998-1999, to examine the extent to which family, school, and neighborhood factors account for the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on children's early reading. Through the use of hierarchical linear modeling techniques, growth curve models were...
Article
This study examined development of academic, language, and social skills among 4-year-olds in publicly supported prekindergarten (pre-K) programs in relation to 3 methods of measuring pre-K quality, which are as follows: (a) adherence to 9 standards of quality related to program infrastructure and design, (b) observations of the overall quality of...
Article
We examined children's growth in school-related learning and social skills over the pre-Kindergarten (pre-K) year in state-funded programs designed to prepare children for kindergarten. We expected that children's gains in academic and social skills could be attributed to variations in the structural and classroom process dimensions of program qual...
Article
The present study describes the depressive symptomatology of 393 parents of prekindergarten children and assesses ethnic differences in the depression scores of these parents and their differential consequences for children's social competence. Data are drawn from the National Center for Early Development and Learning (NCEDL) classroom study, a nat...
Article
Children with behavioral, emotional or language problems struggle to do well at school often with limited success. ABLE (Attention, Behavior, Language, and Emotions), a new screening tool, was used to estimate the prevalence and the severity of concerns parents and teachers have about children's school adjustment and evaluate their need for service...
Article
The current study examined the social and language development of 345 Spanish-speaking pre-kindergartners who attended pre-kindergarten programs that varied widely in how much Spanish was spoken in the classroom by the teacher. Previous studies on English language learners have focused on how the language of instruction impacts children's language...
Article
http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/51100/1/332.pdf
Article
In the past decade in the United States, pre-kindergarten programs for four year olds have expanded rapidly as a potentially powerful intervention intended to promote school readiness for children at-risk for future school failure. This paper describes in detail multi-dimensional profiles of observed quality across 692 classrooms in 11 states repre...
Article
This study describes the meaning of program quality for a representative group of parents of children enrolled in public prekindergarten programs. Educators often conceptualized quality in terms of structural or process indicators; parents most often cited teacher experience and relationship to children. Families, like educators, emphasized enhanci...
Article
This article presents data on the family and social environments of 501 children enrolled in public sponsored pre-K in 5 states and tests the relation of these resources to child competence. Structured interviews and questionnaires provide information from parents about the family's social and economic status. Direct assessments and teacher reports...
Article
To date, few studies of state-funded pre-kindergarten have fully addressed questions about the association between teachers’ education, major, and credentials with classroom quality or children's academic gains. The current paper uses data from the National Center for Early Development and Learning's (NCEDL) Multi-State Study of Pre-Kindergarten, i...
Article
Full-text available
States have accumulated considerable experience in operating publicly sponsored pre-kindergarten programs. In spite of this extensive experience, only fragmentary accounts exist of how these pre-kindergarten (pre-k) programs handle issues such as program intensity, location, staffing, and population served. These issues are addressed by the Nationa...
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This study draws from the National Center for Early Development and Learning's Multi-State Pre-Kindergarten Study to examine the extent to which program, class- room, and teacher attributes of the program ecology predict observed quality and teacher-child interactions in a sample of 238 classrooms representing 6 states' pre-kindergarten programs. Q...
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Poverty, violence, social inequality, rapid urbanization, the HIV epidemic, and an erosion of traditional values create a challenging environment for development in South Africa. The nation has responded with a range of efforts to promote child welfare, often through efforts to strengthen family functioning. The nation's struggles, failures, and su...
Article
To examine the relations of the family environment to adjustment to juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA), and to examine how those relations are influenced by child sex and age. Ninety-four children with JRA completed a questionnaire on family environment and adjustment. Family cohesion was related to good adjustment, whereas family conflict was rel...
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The effects of exposure to direct and vicarious political, family, and community violence on the adjustment of 625 six-year-old black South African children was examined. Ambient community violence was most consistently related to children's psychosocial outcomes. Resources in the form of individual child resilience, maternal coping, and positive f...
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An extensive literature links community violence and poverty in the US to psychological difficulties in children. To test the cross-national generalizability of these relationships, 625 young, South African mothers residing in black townships with different levels of community danger and material hardship rated their 6-year-olds on emotional functi...
Article
The effects of exposure to direct and vicarious political, family, and community violence on the adjustment of 625 6 yr old black South African children was examined. Interviews, questionnaires, archival data, and key information ratings were used to assess violence. Ambient community violence was most consistently related to children's psychosocia...
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In the United States, race is highly associated with social risk factors such as poverty and family structure that may account by themselves for developmental outcomes often attributed to race alone. This cross-national study assesses the effects of social risks on adjustment of racially similar groups of 306 African American and 625 South African...
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Black children in South Africa commonly experience low socioeconomic status and community violence. Parents (N = 625) in a longitudinal study of urbanization responded to structured questionnaires related to resilience, affability, maturity, and school readiness of their six-year olds. SES was found to have an inverse and linear relation to compete...
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Recent evidence on the negative psychological effects of poverty suggests that economic status alone might account for the adjustment problems attributed to sickle cell disease (SCD). The relationship of SCD and financial hardship to adjustment was examined in 327 ill children and their parents. SCD and hardship contributed independently to impaire...
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Sickle cell disease (SCD) is widely conceived in the United States as a group of blood disorders that principally affect African Americans. Although pain is its principal feature, strokes, lung problems, sepsis, anxiety, depression, impaired social functioning, and maladjustment at work are frequent concomitants. This article selectively reviews bi...
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Conceptions of individual and family coping with sickle cell disease (SCD) must incorporate several disease and sociocultural factors. This article proposes an integrative model and tests the relative contribution of model parameters to the prediction of social, academic, and psychological adjustment of children with SCD. The individual coping and...
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Many African Americans with sickle cell disease (SCD) also experience significant economic hardship. Yet, few studies of the psychosocial effects of SCD employ designs robust enough to control socioeconomic factors. This study compares the functioning of families with SCD to that of healthy controls matched for race and socioeconomic status. In gen...
Article
Data from archival sources, representative national surveys, and a prospective study of the effects of urbanization are used to depict trends in violence and reactions of citizens during South Africa’s transition to democracy. Violence has shifted in form from state-sponsored attacks on opponents of apartheid, to politically motivated inter-ethnic...
Article
Cross-cultural aspects of siblings' adaptation to childhood cancer were examined in two studies as part of a cooperative multi-institutional investigation in Israel and the United States. Study 1 compared the behavioral adaptation of Israeli siblings of patients with childhood cancer with matched clinically referred and normal Israeli children. Stu...
Article
This multi-institutional study investigated the association of behavioral/emotional adaptation among siblings of children with cancer with maternal general well-being, physical health, and resource use. One hundred seventy siblings and mothers completed standardized interviews and self-report measures 6 to 42 months after the cancer was diagnosed....
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This article proposes a set of non-monetary indicators of material and social resources characterizing the childrearing environments of families in South African black urban townships. The selected indicators include adequacy of food, quality of housing, financial assets, consumer goods and social resources. The study reported in the article was ca...
Article
Although much has been written in the literature about the design of information systems for human service agencies, there is little information available about the re-design of currently existing systems. To fill this gap, this article describes one agency's effort to review its computerized clinical information system and make decisions about nee...
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This seven-site study examined the overall health status, healthcare utilization, somatization, and health-risk behaviors of siblings of children with cancer compared to these factors in matched controls or normative data. The study also examined whether informants (i.e., siblings, parents, physicians) differed in their assessments of the above hea...
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This study of 124 parents of children diagnosed with cancer investigates parents' perceptions of their role in the illness situation. The study found that mothers and fathers differ in their experience of and response to parenting a child with cancer. These differences appear to reflect traditional parenting roles characterized by a gender-based di...
Article
Although much has been written in the literature about the design of information systems for human service agencies, there is little information available about the re-design of currently existing systems. To fill this gap, this article describes one agency's effort to review its computerized clinical information system and make decisions about nee...
Article
In open-ended interviews, 179 parents of 254 siblings (aged 4–18 yrs) of children with cancer evaluated the pre- and postdiagnosis adjustment of their children. 25% of the siblings were asymptomatic both before and after the diagnosis. Behavior and emotional problems were the most frequently reported problems arising after the diagnosis. Before the...
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A multisite collaborative study assessed the frequency and intensity of emotional/behavioral distress in siblings of children with cancer. A sample of 254 siblings, aged 4 to 18 years, and their parents completed interviews and self-report measures 6 to 42 (average 22.5) months after diagnosis of cancer in a brother or sister. Matched controls were...
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The risk of adjustment problems increases when a child has a serious life-threatening illness. This article estimates the frequency of adjustment problems across multiple domains for children and adolescents with sickle cell anemia (SCA). Parents provided information on the social, emotional, academic, and family adjustment of 327 children with SCA...
Article
Case reviews and focus groups were used to develop clinical profiles of poorly adjusted and psychologically resilient children with sickle cell anemia. The convergence of these clinical profiles with quantitative data was examined by drawing upon objective information in the case records derived from physical and structured psychosocial assessments...
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In contrast to the conclusions commonly drawnfrom media portrayals ofAfrican American children, the majority are not poorly adjusted. Many do weU even by traditional standards, such as mental health, high school graduation, and employment. Although the simultaneous pursuit of diverse research strategies is possible, the focus on problems such as de...
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Concerns about the development of African American children living in poverty most often center on academic, behavioral, and emotional functioning. Efforts to understand and to remedy thege concerns are giving rise to explorations of social and emotional development. Social development refers to the growth of abilities and dispositions that are the...
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The prevalence of developmental andpsychological disturbances amongAfrican American children often is estimatedfrom studies of the general population. In contrast, this study presents information obtainedfrom a nonclinical sample of 1,458 African American parents on the academic, behavioral, and socioemotional adjustment of their children. Symptoms...
Article
Reviews the book, Ethnic Minority Perspectives on Clinical Training and Services in Psychology by Hector F. Myers, Paul Wohlford, L. Philip Guzman, and Ruben J. Echemendia (Eds.) (see record 1991-98798-000 ). This edited volume offers an illuminating account of the problems, efforts, and accomplishments of psychology with respect to achieving ethni...
Article
Chronic childhood illnesses such as cancer create enormous stress for all family members. Siblings of ill children often are overlooked, both in the psychosocial literature and in normal medical, social service, and family practices. This article reports the views and experiences of a small sample of siblings of children with cancer gathered during...
Article
Parents report telling young children less about the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of cancer than older children and adolescents. This is often based on the desire to spare children from being overwhelmed. 43 children diagnosed with cancer reported on information disclosed to them at diagnosis, their causal attributions, illness-related stres...
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Interviewed 21 children (aged 10–21 yrs) on their experiences as siblings of children with cancer. The Ss almost universally expressed worry and distress about the illness. Home life was typically disrupted, and an atmosphere of sadness prevailed. The Ss generally expressed a wish to care for the ill sibling and often seemed to be aware of the stre...
Article
Childhood cancer consitutes a series of chronic, uncontrollable, and stressful life events that may have lasting impact on survivors. The uncertainty and the threat of loss associated with childhood cancer is traumatic and disruptive not only for the ill child but also for the child's parent and siblings. As a consequence, surviving patients and th...
Article
Parents of seriously ill children often struggle with the decision of whether and what to tell their child about the illness, treatment, and prognosis. Medical staffs, psychologists, and parents have advocated either “protective” or “open” approaches to this communication problem. This paper empirically investigated parents' choices regarding what...
Article
This book is about childhood cancer. It is about families' efforts to meet the challenge posed by this illness and to make the best of an undesirable and disruptive situation. To understancd their responses, we must look at the problems and opportunities, the joys and sorrows, and the continuing struggles experienced by families of children with ca...
Article
Describes childhood cancer as a series of chronic, uncontrollable, and stressful life events that may have lasting impact on survivors and their families. Several risk factors are discussed that increase the child and family's vulnerability to maladjustment: (1) the severity and spacing of medical and other life stresses; (2) iatrogenic physical im...
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This research assessed the extent to which contextual factors, especially the medical context, are related to the use of specific coping strategies by 74 parents of surviving children with cancer. Parents reported that they coped reasonably well by using information-seeking, problem-solving, help-seeking, maintaining emotional balance, relying on r...
Chapter
Chronic childhood illnesses are often conceived as family crises because of their profound effect on various aspects of family life, such as role assignment, task allocation, marital quality, sibling relationships, and family cohesion (Barbarin, Hughes, & Chesler, 1985; Binger, 1973; Christ & Floumanhaft, 1984; Futterman & Hoffman, 1973). In contra...
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Interviews with 59 parents of school age children with cancer indicate problems children encountered in returning to school: missing significant amounts of school due to illness and treatments, teasing by classmates and peers, and strained relations with teachers. Most parents report that despite missing much school their child was caught up with s...