Resilience in Adolescents with Cancer: Association of Coping with Positive and Negative Affect

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To examine the prospective association between adolescents' coping with cancer-related stress and observed positive and negative affect during a mother-adolescent interaction task involving discussion of cancer-related stressors.


Adolescents (age 10–15 years) self-reported about their coping and affect approximately 2 months after cancer diagnosis. Approximately 3 months later, adolescents and mothers were video recorded having a discussion about cancer, and adolescents were coded for expression of positive affect (positive mood) and negative affect (sadness and anxiety).


Adolescents' use of secondary control coping (i.e., acceptance, cognitive reappraisal, and distraction) in response to cancer-related stress predicted higher levels of observed positive affect, but not negative affect, over time.


Findings provide support for the importance of coping in the regulation of positive emotions. The potential role of coping in preventive interventions to enhance resilience in adolescents facing cancer-related stress is highlighted.

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