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Losing a parent to cancer as a teenager: Family cohesion in childhood, teenage, and young adulthood as perceived by bereaved and non-bereaved youths
Faculty of Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Oncology and Pathology, Institute for Palliative Care, Lunds University, Lund, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5119-7489
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Caring Science, Caring Science. Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.
Clinical Cancer Epidemiology, Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; Centre for Cancer Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK; Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Women's and Children's Health, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Caring Sciences, Palliative Research Center, Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College, Stockholm, Sweden.
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2019 (English)In: Psycho-Oncology, ISSN 1057-9249, E-ISSN 1099-1611Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate levels of perceived family cohesion during childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood in cancer-bereaved youths compared with non-bereaved peers.

METHODS: In this nationwide, population-based study, 622 (73%) young adults (aged 18-26) who had lost a parent to cancer 6 to 9 years previously, when they were teenagers (aged 13-16), and 330 (78%) non-bereaved peers from a matched random sample answered a study-specific questionnaire. Associations were assessed using multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: Compared with non-bereaved youths, the cancer-bereaved participants were more likely to report poor family cohesion during teenage years (odds ratio [OR] 1.6, 95% CI, 1.0-2.4, and 2.3, 95% CI, 1.5-3.5, for paternally and maternally bereaved youths, respectively). This was also seen in young adulthood among maternally bereaved participants (OR 2.5; 95% CI, 1.6-4.1), while there was no difference between paternally bereaved and non-bereaved youths. After controlling for a number of covariates (eg, year of birth, number of siblings, and depression), the adjusted ORs for poor family cohesion remained statistically significant. In a further analysis stratified for gender, this difference in perceived poor family cohesion was only noted in females.

CONCLUSION: Teenage loss of a parent to cancer was associated with perceived poor family cohesion during teenage years. This was also noted in young adulthood among the maternally bereaved. Females were more likely to report poor family cohesion. Our results indicate a need for increased awareness of family cohesion in bereaved-to-be families with teenage offspring, with special attention to gender roles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019.
Keywords [en]
adolescents, bereavement, cancer, family cohesion, oncology, parental death, teenagers, young adults
National Category
Other Medical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-30557DOI: 10.1002/pon.5163ISI: 000476374500001PubMedID: 31250504Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85069810215OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-30557DiVA, id: diva2:1345084
Funder
Swedish Cancer Society, 2008-758
Note

Funding agency:

- Galo Foundation  - Kamprad Family Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Research and Charity  - Mats Paulssons Stiftelse  

Available from: 2019-08-22 Created: 2019-08-22 Last updated: 2019-08-23Bibliographically approved

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Bylund-Grenklo, Tove

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