Differences in Emotional Well-Being and Communication Styles Between Mothers and Fathers of Pediatric Cancer Patients

Johanna Shapiro PhD & Sally Shumaker PhD

This study investigated 26 pairs of mothers and fathers of pediatric cancer patients to explore the relationship between parental communication patterns and parental psychological well being as well as the possible differences between the communication styles of mothers and fathers. For mothers, open and frequent communication had a positive effect on emotional well-being, and spousal communication was particularly important. In comparison with fathers, mothers had significantly more positive perceptions of the family’s overall emotional climate, evaluated the patient as significantly better adjusted, and communicated significantly more often and openly with the patient.

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