Experiences of posttraumatic growth in siblings of children with cancer

Anita D'Urso, Kiki Mastroyannopoulou, Angela Kirby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


As survival rates continue to improve for children diagnosed with cancer, strides in achieving better psychosocial outcomes for both children with cancer and their families have been accentuated. The current study aimed to explore the experiences of siblings of children diagnosed with cancer and attempted to overcome some of the limitations described in previous research. Primarily, the study considered the theoretical framework of posttraumatic growth (PTG) in the project design and analysis. Semi-structured interviews were completed with six siblings. Thematic analysis was employed to identify themes within the data set as a whole. The data revealed that siblings experienced a range of difficult emotions throughout the cancer trajectory as well as experiencing remarkable changes in their lives. This included both positive and negative changes. These changes included increased empathy and resilience, improved family relationships, disrupted routine, increased responsibility and perceived changes in the ill child. Siblings described factors which they found helpful and unhelpful in adjusting to these changes. The report ends with a discussion of the themes and their clinical and theoretical implications. The report also highlights the research limitations and areas for future investigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-317
Number of pages17
JournalClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Issue number2
Early online date4 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Posttraumatic growth
  • pediatrics
  • siblings
  • psychosocial outcome
  • oncology

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