Caring for a child with cancer: The role of attachment, self-compassion and social support: Caring for a child with cancer

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Abstract

Background: It is widely accepted that family caregivers are central to the future of cancer care and the impetus is to understand how best to support and empower them.
Aims: The current study explored the role of the relationship between the caregiver and the child, the level of perceived support, and the self-compassion of the caregiver, on distress and wellbeing in mothers who were the primary caregiver for a child with cancer.
Methods: A self-report questionnaire survey of 255 mothers assessed perceived support, attachment to the child, self-compassion and a range of demographic variables including age, education, employment and time since diagnosis.
Results: A model was proposed and explored using Hierarchical Multiple Regression Analysis (HMRA) and tested more fully using Structural Equation Modelling. The results of both analysis support the model and show it to be an excellent fit for the data.
Conclusions: The findings suggest that the quality of the attachment bond with the child along with mother’s ability to be self-compassionate, combined with perceived social support may moderate the impact of care burden on perceived distress for mothers caring for a child with cancer.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChild Care in Practice
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Self compassion
  • Attachment
  • Support
  • Caregiving
  • Children
  • Cancer

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