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Psicologia, Saúde & Doenças

Print version ISSN 1645-0086


AMORIM, Liliana  and  PEREIRA, M. Graça. Optimism, social support and psychological morbidity in adults offspring of oncologic patients. Psic., Saúde & Doenças [online]. 2009, vol.10, n.1, pp.83-98. ISSN 1645-0086.

This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between optimism, psychological morbidity and satisfaction with social support in a sample of adult offspring of cancer patients. For this purpose, a sample of 46 participants, whose parents had been diagnosed with malignant cancer participated in the study. Cancer patients were receiving treatment at the Oncologic Service of São Marcos Hospital in Braga. Subjects filled the following questionnaires: Socio Demographic Questionnaire (Pereira & Amorim, 2008); Life Orientation Test R (Scheier, Carver, & Bridges, 1994); Stress, Depression and Anxiety Scales - 21 (Pais-Ribeiro, Honrado, & Leal, 2004) and the Social Support Satisfaction Scale (Santos, Pais-Ribeiro, & Lopes, 2003).The results showed an association between optimism and psychological morbidity, i.e. optimistic offspring had lower levels of psychological morbidity, when compared to non-optimistic. We also found an association between marital status and psychological morbidity that adult offspring who were married presented lower rates of psychological morbidity when compared to non-married ones. Results also indicate that those adults who were their parents’ caregivers had higher levels of stress than those who were not. The obtained data have important implications to future interventions since it can provide important guidelines to promote a better adaptation to parental cancer, particularly in terms of psychological morbidity, social support and optimism.

Keywords : Adult sons and daughters; cancer; optimism; psychological morbidity; social support.

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