Marital dissatisfaction, psychological distress, and the coping of parents of pediatric cancer patients

JEHM Hoekstra-Weebers*, JPC Jaspers, WA Kamps, EC Klip

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines the marital satisfaction of 124 parents of pediatric cancer patients in relation to their psychological distress and coping preferences over a year. Results show that there was a significant increase in marital dissatisfaction for the group as a whole. Marital dissatisfaction was significantly and positively associated with psychological distress at 6 and 12 months, but not at diagnosis. Fathers appeared to be more self-oriented when they judged the quality of their marriage. Their marital distress was related to their own coping behavior, not to that of their partners. Mothers were more other oriented. Their marital distress was related to their partners' coping preferences, rather than to their own. Discrepancies in coping within couples were associated with marital distress in both partners.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1012-1021
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Marriage and the Family
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Nov-1998


  • coping styles
  • parental marital dissatisfaction
  • pediatric cancer

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