Children with cancer: healthy siblings' perceptions during the illness experience

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A dearth of formal research attention has been given the healthy siblings of children with cancer, despite confirmation of maladaptive behavior in select siblings following chronic and/or terminal pediatric illness. Assuming that culturally influenced perceptions affect behavior, the following question arises: what do healthy siblings of children with cancer perceive their experiences to be during various phases of the illness? An exploratory pilot study to determine the feasibility of longitudinal research on this question is offered.

The taped perceptions of five healthy school-age siblings of children with cancer, elicited during interview and picture-drawing, reveal themes of change, loss, and growth in human relations and self-concept.

Implications for further research are offered.

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