Adolescents with cancer (AWC) are a neglected population in the area of psychosocial services, and little theoretically based research has been conducted on interventions to help them positively adjust to the cancer experience. In addition, although knowledge of how individuals positively adjust to difficult life circumstances can provide important guidance for developing effective interventions, research has underemphasized positive health and overemphasized pathology models in addressing psychosocial adjustment of AWC. Theories focusing on positive health concepts such as resilience are potentially excellent guides for developing effective psychosocial interventions, because the factors that influence positve health, such as hope, positive coping, and perceived social support, are amenable to improvement. The Adolescent Resilience Model (ARM) is one of the first theoretical models to propose a comprehensive, integrative representation of the process and outcomes of resilience and quality of life in AWC. The ARM is an example of a theory-driven research program that aims to improve outcomes for AWC by focusing on positive health concepts. Presented here are the underlying theoretical perspectives, variables in the ARM, and the ways the ARM may be used to guide interventions aimed at improving short- and long-term outcomes for AWC.
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