In this study, Dr. Lynn Katz tested whether cancer survivorship moderates the relation between maternal directiveness—one aspect of intrusiveness—and children’s internalizing problems.
Parental intrusiveness is associated with internalizing problems in healthy children. Given the unique demands that childhood cancer places on parents, it is important to determine whether intrusiveness operates differently in survivors of childhood cancer. The current study tested whether cancer survivorship moderates the relation between maternal directiveness—one aspect of intrusiveness—and children’s internalizing problems. Survivors (7–12 years old) of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) (n = 25) and their mothers, and healthy controls (n = 22) and their mothers engaged in parent–child interactions. Mothers completed a measure of children’s psychosocial adjustment, and observations of 10-min parent–child interactions were obtained. Cancer survivorship moderated the relation between directiveness and children’s withdrawn/depressed symptoms. Maternal directiveness was associated with increased withdrawn/depressed symptoms for children in the control group. This association was not significant for survivors of ALL. Findings suggest that childhood cancer may alter the context in which children experience maternal directiveness.
Kawamura, J., & Katz, L.F. (2014). Maternal directiveness in childhood survivors of acute lympohoblastic leukemia. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 21, 329-336.