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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


SILVA, Sofia; PIRES, António; GONCALVES, Mónica  and  MOURA, Maria de Jesus. Children with cancer and parental behaviour  . Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2002, vol.3, n.1, pp.43-60. ISSN 1645-0086.

The purpose of this study is to construct a theory about the behaviour of parents of children with cancer. The participants are eight mothers and one father of children with cancer diagnosed between eight months to ten years old. We coded and analysed eight semi-structured interviews according to the Grounded Theory method. We included in this analysis four interviews previously made by Gonçalves (2000). Since the moment of diagnosis, parents’ main concern is the fear of the child’s death and the inherent uncertainty, which is shocking, unexplainable, permanent, invasive and which parents try to hide. Confronted by this fear, parents develop a main strategy - centralisation on the ill child. Child becomes the centre of the family’s dynamic, which requires new resources and competencies of the parental functions: conjugal or others’ support, strategies of reducing pain, focusing on the ill child, trying to live one day at a time and as near to normality as possible.

Keywords : Childhood cancer; Grounded Theory; Parental behaviour.

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