Problem-solving skills, parent–adolescent communication, dyadic functioning, and distress among adolescents with cancer

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Some adolescents with cancer report distress and unmet needs. Guided by the disability-stress-coping model, we evaluated associations among problem-solving skills, parent–adolescent cancer-related communication, parent–adolescent dyadic functioning, and distress in adolescents with cancer. Thirty-nine adolescent–parent dyads completed measures of these constructs. Adolescents were 14–20 years old on treatment or within 1 year of completing treatment. Better problem-solving skills were correlated with lower adolescent distress (r = −0.70, P < 0.001). Adolescent-reported cancer-related communication problems and dyadic functioning were not significantly related to adolescent distress (rs < 0.18). Future work should examine use of problem-solving interventions to decrease distress for adolescents with cancer.

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