Stages of the Illness and Child Development

Grace Hyslop Christ

in Healing Children's Grief

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780195105919
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199893973 | DOI:
Stages of the Illness and Child Development

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This chapter summarizes the stages of the cancer experience and the theories that helped the authors to understand the developmental context of the children's and adolescents' reactions and behaviors. These two large frames — the stages of the parent's illness and the changes in the child's development — allow for greater clarity in the description of the variation in children's reactions and responses within similar developmental attributes and illness stage frames, and between group comparisons with different stages of the illness and with children having earlier or more advanced developmental attributes. Not even the impact of a parent's death is sufficient to understand differences in the outcome as evaluated 8 to 14 months after the death. The rich interplay of the significant actors in the microsystem, the mesosystem, and the exosystem play a major role in affecting this outcome. Yet it is the details of the interaction with the child at different stages of development and, in turn, the effect of the child on the significant others, which begin to refine and distinguish the most relevant information for interventions.

Keywords: cancer; child development; parents; death; outcome

Chapter.  4147 words. 

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