Sense of humor, childhood cancer stressors, and outcomes of psychosocial adjustment, immune function, and infection

Jacqueline S. Dowling, Marilyn Hockenberry, Richard Gregory

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The diagnosis, treatment, and side effects of childhood cancer have been described as extremely stressful experiences in the life of a child. Anecdotally, children report that a sense of humor helps them cope with the daily experiences of living with cancer; however, no research has examined sense of humor and childhood cancer stressors. This study investigated the effect of sense of humor on the relationship between cancer stressors and children's psychosocial adjustment to cancer, immune function, and infection using Lazarus and Folkman's theory of stress, appraisal, and coping. A direct relationship was observed between sense of humor and psychosocial adjustment to cancer, such that children with a high sense of humor had greater psychological adjustment, regardless of the amount of cancer stressors. A moderating effect was observed for incidence of infection. As childhood cancer stressors increase, children with high coping humor scores reported fewer incidences of infection than low scorers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-292
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing
Volume20
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2003

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Social Adjustment
Wit and Humor
Infection
Neoplasms
Life Change Events
Incidence

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Children
  • Sense of humor
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Nursing(all)

Cite this

Sense of humor, childhood cancer stressors, and outcomes of psychosocial adjustment, immune function, and infection. / Dowling, Jacqueline S.; Hockenberry, Marilyn; Gregory, Richard.

In: Journal of Pediatric Oncology Nursing, Vol. 20, No. 6, 11.2003, p. 271-292.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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