Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Leukemia -- Psychological aspects, Children -- Diseases



Physical Description

1 online resource (91 pages)


The purpose of the study was to assess psycho-social differences between two groups. A review of the literature suggested psychological and social factors may affect the onset and progression of malignant disease. Comparisons were made between a group of 23 experimental families with a leukemic child, and a group of control families with a normal child matched for child's sex, age, and number of siblings. Data. was gathered on three quantifiable measures; Coddington's Social Readjustment Rating Questionnaire; a specially constructed Child's Questionnaire, and The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.

The leukemic children and their matched normal controls had approximately equal numbers, and similar types, of social events that had occurred within their present life span. This suggests that the occurrence of a specific stressful life event is not, in itself, a major precipitating factor in onset of leukemia. The leukemic children and their normal controls were likewise similar in their responses concerning self-reported aggressive behavior and attitudes toward expression of aggressive feelings. This implies that, other than the presence of disease, the leukemic children respond to specific stimuli in a manner typical of normal children. The parents of the leukemic children however, were differentiated from the parents of normal children, through the statistical method of stepwise discriminant analysis of MMPI responses. A combination of five variables, for each pair of parents, father's Sc 0 (Si) score, mother's Sc I (Hs) score, and father's Sc 9 (Ma), F scale, and Sc 3 (Hy) scores, had a level of significance. This finding presents evidence that parents of leukemic children differ from parents of normal children on personality characteristics assessed by the MMPI. Some possible interpretations of these results, and suggestions for treatment and additional research, were offered.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).

Persistent Identifier

Included in

Social Work Commons