Differences and Trading: Examining the Effects of Childhood Cancer on the Parental Subsystem—Part 1

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Abstract

This article is the first of a three-part report of a research study that used hermeneutic inquiry to examine the effects of childhood cancer on the relationship between the parents of the child. In Part 1, we identity the topic of investigation and the relevant literature; describe the research question, method, and design; and begin our interpretations of the data with a focus on the couples who remained together and those who experienced relationship demise. In this analysis, we discovered that issues of difference and trading played a strong role in how the couples fared in their relationships. In Part 2 of this series, we focus on further interpretations, and in Part 3, we discuss the implications of the study for other parents and for health care professionals.

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