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What is the relationship between family stress and childhood illness?

Researchers are busy studying how people respond to stress from an abnormal life situation, such as having a child with a chronic illness, and have made some interesting findings. In a study of 675 parents of children who had either diabetes or cancer, researchers found that all the parents were stressed at the time of diagnosis. Okay, that’s not surprising. It’s also not surprising that the parents of children with cancer initially suffered worse stress than the parents of children with diabetes; the cancer parents were more anxious, stressed, and depressed. What is surprising, however, is what happened as time passed. The stress gradually diminished in the cancer parents but gradually increased in the diabetes group. Why? The researchers surmise that the children with cancer often were successfully treated, making the cancer less of a daily threat. But the children with diabetes, a lifelong, progressive illness, became more likely to develop problems. The take-home? Make sure you practice stress reducing strategies if your child has a long-term disability or chronic condition.

From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.

 

The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

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The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents

What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do! "Moms and dads need expert guidelines, especially when it comes to their kids' health. This book reveals the inside strategies I use myself-I'm a parent,...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.