The Role of Social Support and Coping Strategies on Psychological Well-Being of Mothers of Children with Cancer
Background & Objective

Among the chronic diseases of childhood, cancer has a high prevalence and after cardiovascular disease is the second most common cause of mortality in developed countries and the third most common cause of death in developing countries. Cancer in the family involves other members of family too and causes a disruption to the patientchr('39')s life plans and a family members and also challenges the entire family and endures many psychological and financial pressures that can be effect on their well–being. Since childhood cancers are life–threatening diseases, the role of parents, especially mothers, is increasingly being addressed as primary caregivers. The findings show that the parents of children with cancer are at risk of physical and emotional health related to understanding the dissatisfaction with the condition of life and lack of compliance; therefore, in addition to the patient with cancer, the patientchr('39')s family should be taken care. Researchers believe that there are moderating factors between parentschr('39') mental stress and childhood illness. Some characteristics can increase the ability of internal resistance to mental stress in parents and prevent its consequences and disease. For example, effective coping strategies and social support can make a person more responsive to psychological stress. Therefore, this study was conducted to determine the effect of social support and coping strategies on the psychological well–being of mothers of children with cancer.


This study was a descriptive and correlational study on 96 mothers with a 1–7 year–old child with cancer who were able to complete the questionnaire and to follow up on treatment with the hospitals of Ali Asghar, Mofid and children medical center of Tehran in 2015, were done by random sampling method. Data were collected using Riefchr('39')s Psychological Well–Being Questionnaire (1995) with Cronbachchr('39')s alpha 0.72 to 0.89, which includes 6 factors of self–acceptance, purposeful life, personal growth, positive relationship with others, autonomy, and environmental domination, Social support of Philips (1986) with Cronbachchr('39')s alpha 0.70, which includes three subscales of support received by family, friends and others, and the Lazarus Coping Strategies Questionnaire (1974) with Cronbachchr('39')s alpha 0.66 to 0.79 which have measered two problem–oriented strategy subscales, problem–solving (Social Support seeking, a Responsibility, Tactful problem solving, and positive re–evaluation) and the subscale of the excitement–oriented strategy (Confrontation, self–restraint, avoidance and escape–avoidance). The results were analyzed using Pearson correlation and multiple regression tests.


The results of Pearson correlation test and linear multiple regression showed that a significant direct effect of social support (0.64) and problematic coping style (0.68) on psychological well–being of mothers of children with cancer (p<0.001). The results also showed that social support and problem–solving style can explaining approximately 55% of the variance of psychological well–being, while the emotional coping style cannot explaining the psychological well–being of mothers.


Based on the findings of the research, coping strategies and social support affected the psychological well–being of mothers of children with cancer. Therefore we can improve psychological well–being of mothers of children with cancer through increasing social support and training problem focused strategy.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Middle Eastern Journal of Disability Studies, Volume:10 Issue: 1, 2020
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