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The impact of breast cancer on mother-child relationships in Korea

 Sue Kim  ;  Yun Hee Ko  ;  Eun Young Jun 
 PSYCHO-ONCOLOGY, Vol.21(6) : 640-646, 2012 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Adaptation, Psychological ; Adolescent ; Adult ; Asian Continental Ancestry Group ; Breast Neoplasms/diagnosis* ; Breast Neoplasms/psychology* ; Child ; Child, Preschool ; Culture ; Female ; Humans ; Interviews as Topic ; Middle Aged ; Mother-Child Relations*/ethnology ; Mothers/psychology* ; Neoplasm Staging ; Parenting/ethnology ; Parenting/psychology* ; Qualitative Research ; Republic of Korea ; Social Support ; Socioeconomic Factors ; Stress, Psychological/psychology ; Young Adult
breast cancer ; mother–child relationship ; culture ; oncology ; support systems
OBJECTIVE: For families with dependent children, the situational crisis of a cancer diagnosis may compound the developmental task of parenting. This study aimed to explore the impact of breast cancer on Korean mothers and their children following diagnosis.

METHODS: Korean women diagnosed with breast cancer at 50 years or younger more than a year ago were recruited by posting announcements at a breast cancer clinic and through referrals and snowball sampling. A one-time in-depth interview ranging from 60 to 90 min was conducted and data were transcribed verbatim for content analysis.

RESULTS: Five themes emerged from the data: (1) The delicate balance of being able to focus on self, which also was a conflicting factor in their relationship with children; (2) The continuing challenge of taking care of children, which was closely linked to supports, health condition, and cultural notions of parenting and lingering stigma; (3) The importance of informing children in a timely manner; (4) An overall shift in attitudes towards raising children as independent beings; and (5) Relinquishing and re-envisioning the future for their children and themselves.

CONCLUSIONS: Breast cancer brings new challenges in mother-child relationships with culturally framed issues. Findings can guide healthcare providers in giving relevant anticipatory guidance for women diagnosed with breast cancer and in considering family-focused psychosocial and behavioral interventions for families with breast cancer.
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Appears in Collections:
3. College of Nursing (간호대학) > Dept. of Nursing (간호학과) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Ko, Yun Hee(고윤희)
Kim, Sue(김수) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3785-2445
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