Exploring character strength and life satisfaction in pediatric cancer: A mixed method approach
While increased difficulties in adjustment and well-being have been hypothesized by pediatric cancer research, studies have not consistently demonstrated increased distress and adjustment problems. Rather, results indicate that children with cancer and those who have survived report low levels of psychological distress, depression, anxiety, and posttraumatic stress, and appear to adjust well over time. The current study utilizes a mixed method approach to explore the experiences of children who have had pediatric cancer and to gain understanding of the personal characteristics or individual qualities (i.e., character strengths) that contribute to their life satisfaction. Semi-structured interviews and questionnaires were utilized. Interview transcriptions were analyzed using content analysis. Three categories of individual qualities were described as helping participants through the cancer experience: hope/optimism, religious faith, and humor. Additionally, four categories emerged as important with regard to participants’ life satisfaction, including participants’ inability to participate in activities due to treatment and health, difficulties related to treatment, social support, and using distraction. Six overarching themes emerged regarding personal strengths and the cancer experience in general and are discussed. Further, results also suggested that several of the VIA character strengths were important in dealing with pediatric cancer. Implications for future research and programming are discussed. ^
Lora M Scagliola,
"Exploring character strength and life satisfaction in pediatric cancer: A mixed method approach"
Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access).