The relationship between adult cancer patients' adjustment to the illness and that of their parents

Ora Gilbar, Ronit Refaeli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


An important but neglected issue in family system research is the impact on a parent of the diagnosis of cancer of an adult-child. The present study of 41 parents and 41 ill adult children compares adjustment as measured by the Psycho-social Adjustment to Physical Illness Scale (PAIS); psychological distress as measured by the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI); family support and its significance as measured by the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support (MSPSS); and frequency of kinship interaction and aid as measured by the contact between Generation Battery (CGB) Scale. The results show that the parents displayed more depression symptoms than the children. The findings also indicate a significant positive correlation between depression, anxiety, and Grand Severity Index (GSI) symptoms of the ill adult child and of the parent, and a similar correlation between domestic environment, extended family relations, and total adjustment (PAIS scale), on the one hand, and family support, on the other. Additionally, a significant but negative correlation was found between interpersonal relationships, paranoid ideation, psychotism, and GSI (BSI scale) on the one hand, and family support (MSPSS scale) on the other. Lastly, the findings show that the parents reported receiving less assistance and support from their ill adult child than the child reported receiving from the parents, as measured by the CGB scale.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-17
Number of pages13
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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