eISSN: 1644-4116
ISSN: 1429-8538
Psychoonkologia
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1/2012
vol. 16
 
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abstract:
Original paper

Personal growth in adolescents coping with cancer

Nina Ogińska-Bulik

Psychoonkologia 2012, 1: 1–8
Online publish date: 2012/12/28
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Introduction: Recently stress and trauma research has begun to focus on positive outcomes, specifically posttraumatic growth, however the studies on children and adolescents are still very rare. The purpose of the study was to investigate if adolescents who experienced trauma related to cancer disease reveal positive changes, emphasizes in personal growth, in what degree and if gender, age and time since diagnosis of illness are related to the level of personal growth.

Material and methods: The study group consists of 39 adolescents (16 boys and 23 girls) aged 14-18 years (M = 16.5; SD = 1.14) who were in a process of treatment of cancer with no history of relapse. Personal Growth Questionnaire – KOW-27 (in own development) which measure positive changes in self perception, appreciation of life and relations to others was used in the study.

Results: Adolescents who have experienced cancer reported positive changes in the aftermath of trauma 35.9% of them in a high degree. The changes in appreciation of life and self perception were greater than in relations to others. Gender, age and time since diagnosis of cancer were not related to the level of personal growth.

Conclusions: Personal Growth Questionnaire is a useful tool to measure positive changes after trauma in children and adolescents. Occurring personal growth is an indicator of coping efficiency with illness, but further studies are needed in this area.
keywords:

posttraumatic growth, personal growth, cancer disease, adolescents

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