Losing a parent to cancer as a teenager: Family cohesion in childhood, teenage, and young adulthood as perceived by bereaved and non-bereaved youths

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Losing a parent to cancer as a teenager : Family cohesion in childhood, teenage, and young adulthood as perceived by bereaved and non-bereaved youths. / Birgisdóttir, Dröfn; Bylund Grenklo, Tove; Nyberg, Tommy; Kreicbergs, Ulrika; Steineck, Gunnar; Fürst, Carl J.

I: Psycho-Oncology, Vol. 28, Nr. 9, 09.2019, s. 1845-1853.

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Losing a parent to cancer as a teenager

T2 - Family cohesion in childhood, teenage, and young adulthood as perceived by bereaved and non-bereaved youths

AU - Birgisdóttir, Dröfn

AU - Bylund Grenklo, Tove

AU - Nyberg, Tommy

AU - Kreicbergs, Ulrika

AU - Steineck, Gunnar

AU - Fürst, Carl J

N1 - © 2019 The Authors Psycho-Oncology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

PY - 2019/9

Y1 - 2019/9

N2 - OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate levels of perceived family cohesion during childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood in cancer-bereaved youths compared with non-bereaved peers.METHODS: In this nationwide, population-based study, 622 (73%) young adults (aged 18-26) who had lost a parent to cancer 6 to 9 years previously, when they were teenagers (aged 13-16), and 330 (78%) non-bereaved peers from a matched random sample answered a study-specific questionnaire. Associations were assessed using multivariable logistic regression.RESULTS: Compared with non-bereaved youths, the cancer-bereaved participants were more likely to report poor family cohesion during teenage years (odds ratio [OR] 1.6, 95% CI, 1.0-2.4, and 2.3, 95% CI, 1.5-3.5, for paternally and maternally bereaved youths, respectively). This was also seen in young adulthood among maternally bereaved participants (OR 2.5; 95% CI, 1.6-4.1), while there was no difference between paternally bereaved and non-bereaved youths. After controlling for a number of covariates (eg, year of birth, number of siblings, and depression), the adjusted ORs for poor family cohesion remained statistically significant. In a further analysis stratified for gender, this difference in perceived poor family cohesion was only noted in females.CONCLUSION: Teenage loss of a parent to cancer was associated with perceived poor family cohesion during teenage years. This was also noted in young adulthood among the maternally bereaved. Females were more likely to report poor family cohesion. Our results indicate a need for increased awareness of family cohesion in bereaved-to-be families with teenage offspring, with special attention to gender roles.

AB - OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to investigate levels of perceived family cohesion during childhood, teenage years, and young adulthood in cancer-bereaved youths compared with non-bereaved peers.METHODS: In this nationwide, population-based study, 622 (73%) young adults (aged 18-26) who had lost a parent to cancer 6 to 9 years previously, when they were teenagers (aged 13-16), and 330 (78%) non-bereaved peers from a matched random sample answered a study-specific questionnaire. Associations were assessed using multivariable logistic regression.RESULTS: Compared with non-bereaved youths, the cancer-bereaved participants were more likely to report poor family cohesion during teenage years (odds ratio [OR] 1.6, 95% CI, 1.0-2.4, and 2.3, 95% CI, 1.5-3.5, for paternally and maternally bereaved youths, respectively). This was also seen in young adulthood among maternally bereaved participants (OR 2.5; 95% CI, 1.6-4.1), while there was no difference between paternally bereaved and non-bereaved youths. After controlling for a number of covariates (eg, year of birth, number of siblings, and depression), the adjusted ORs for poor family cohesion remained statistically significant. In a further analysis stratified for gender, this difference in perceived poor family cohesion was only noted in females.CONCLUSION: Teenage loss of a parent to cancer was associated with perceived poor family cohesion during teenage years. This was also noted in young adulthood among the maternally bereaved. Females were more likely to report poor family cohesion. Our results indicate a need for increased awareness of family cohesion in bereaved-to-be families with teenage offspring, with special attention to gender roles.

KW - Adolescents

KW - Bereavement

KW - Cancer

KW - Family cohesion

KW - Oncology

KW - Parental death

KW - Teenagers

KW - Young adults

U2 - 10.1002/pon.5163

DO - 10.1002/pon.5163

M3 - Article

C2 - 31250504

VL - 28

SP - 1845

EP - 1853

JO - Psycho-Oncology

JF - Psycho-Oncology

SN - 1099-1611

IS - 9

ER -