Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Lennis G. Echterling


Cancer rates in the United States continue to be staggering. It is also heartbreaking to note that many of the adults confronting cancer are also parents of children. Parental terminal cancer poses a threat to the psychological well being of the entire family. Children are at a significantly higher risk for developing psychological disorders if their psychosocial needs are not met during this crucial time. Communication is vital in assisting children with their reactions to the illness and impending loss. Research has shown that communication between family members, especially with children, and also between medical professionals and families can often be lacking or complicated. This paper will provide a literature review of the research that has been conducted on children coping with parental cancer, along with a review of programs and interventions that have been successful in meeting the needs of these children. Implications for counselors, along with limitations of this paper, will be identified.

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