Date of Award:

2012

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Clinton E. Field

Abstract

Cancer is currently the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the US. While the number of childhood cancer survivors continues to grow, psychological research on this population has lagged. Existing research on the psychosocial effects of childhood cancer is marked by inconsistent conclusions as well as methodological limitations. However, the effect of childhood cancer on social functioning is one area with relatively more consistency. Existing research suggests that childhood cancer can lead to deficits in prosocial skills as well as the emergence of social problems. The present study investigated individual change in social functioning for five children diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia ALL) over the first year of treatment compared to healthy control peers. Children with cancer demonstrated a decrease in social activity as well as an unexpected increase in social skills not demonstrated by healthy control children.

Comments

This work made publicly available electronically on June 4, 2012.

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