The Potential Role of Benefit and Burden Finding in School Engagement of Young Leukemia Survivors: An Exploratory StudyAnne-Marie Tougas1*, Sylvie Jutras2, Marc Bigras2 and Marc Tourigny1
- *Corresponding Author:
- Anne-Marie Tougas
Département de psychoéducation, Université de Sherbrooke
2500, boulevard de l’Université, Pavillon A7, 3e étage
bureau 362, Sherbrooke (Québec, Canada), J1K 2R1,Canada
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: April 24, 2014; Accepted Date: May 21, 2014; Published Date: May 27, 2014
Citation: Tougas AM, Jutras S, Bigras M, Tourigny M (2014) The Potential Role of Benefit and Burden Finding in School Engagement of Young Leukemia Survivors: An Exploratory Study . J Child Adolesc Behav 2:138. doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000138
Copyright: © 2014 Tougas AM, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Childhood cancer may radically change the daily lives of young survivors, particularly in school. Depending on the sense they derive from the experience of illness, survivors may go through profound transformations in the way they approach life. Using a mixed methods approach, this exploratory study reports on school engagement of cancer survivors by examining their perceptions of benefits and burdens in relation to their illness. Forty-nine young Quebecers, previously diagnosed and treated for leukemia, completed a questionnaire measuring their school engagement and participated in an interview focusing on the impact of cancer on their lives. Perceptions with regard to the presence and types of benefits and burdens were described and examined in light of participants’ characteristics. An analysis of variance explored if the presence/absence of benefits and burdens were associated with participants’ scores regarding school engagement. Most participants mentioned benefits from having had cancer, and in particular benefits at an interpersonal level. Half of the participants mentioned burdens, mainly of a physical and psychological nature. Significant correlations indicated that 1) the older survivors were, the more likely they were to report benefits in terms of qualities and strengths of character, and 2) the more time had elapsed since their diagnosis, the more survivors were likely to report psychological types of burdens. A main effect indicated that school engagement was greater for survivors who perceived the presence of benefits. An interaction effect revealed that the perception of both benefits and burdens predicts the highest scores of school engagement. While the results reveal the promising potential that an optimistic yet realistic disposition has in regard to school engagement, more research is necessary to further our understanding of such a disposition, as well as its potential to contribute to the adaptation of young cancer survivors within the various spheres of their lives.