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Identity formation in adolescent and emerging adult cancer survivors: a differentiated perspective and associations with psychosocial functioning

Authors
  • Prikken, Sofie; 105517;
  • Luyckx, Koen; 32536;
  • Raymaekers, Koen; 112272;
  • Raemen, Leni; 99790;
  • Verschueren, Margaux; 105390;
  • Lemiere, Jurgen; 26192;
  • Vercruysse, Trui;
  • Uyttebroeck, Anne; 58451;
Publication Date
Jul 13, 2021
Source
Lirias
Keywords
License
Unknown
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Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Identity formation was investigated in adolescent and emerging adult cancer survivors from a (neo-)Eriksonian perspective by comparing survivors to control participants. In survivors, associations between identity and clinical/demographical variables and general and illness-specific functioning were investigated. DESIGN: Childhood cancer survivors (n = 125; Mage: 19.54; 47% male) were matched on age and gender with healthy controls (2:1). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: All participants completed identity questionnaires. Survivors reported on demographics, well-being (depressive symptoms, life satisfaction, physical functioning), and illness-specific experiences (PTSS, illness centrality, cancer self-identity, benefit finding, cancer-related worries). Medical records provided clinical information. RESULTS: Survivors did not differ from controls on identity synthesis or confusion or on the identity statuses resulting from cluster analysis on the identity dimensions (achievement, foreclosure, moratorium, diffusion). Identity synthesis related to better well-being and illness experiences, whereas confusion related to worse well-being and illness experiences. Youth in moratorium and diffusion reported lower well-being and more negative illness experiences. Associations between identity and demographical and clinical characteristics were inconsistent. CONCLUSIONS: This study revealed no significant differences in identity formation between cancer survivors and controls. However, survivors who struggle in their identity quest should be identified as they are at risk for poorer well-being and negative illness experiences. / status: published

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