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The impact of cancer on adolescent identity formation: challenges for Social Workers

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Skerdi Zahaj

on 21 December 2013

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Transcript of The impact of cancer on adolescent identity formation: challenges for Social Workers

THE IMPACT OF CANCER ON ADOLESCENT IDENTITY FORMATION: CHALLENGES FOR SOCIAL WORKERS
Skerdi Zahaj, MSc
Department of Education and Psychology
University of Tirana

WHAT IS IDENTITY
Does adolescents suffer from Cancer
Cancer Epidemiology in Older Adolescents and
Young Adults 15 to 29 Years of Age
(National Cancer Institute)
Erik Erikson
The main task of adolescents is
the synthesis of identity
Autonomous behavior
Reduction of dependence
from parents
Increase in peer dependence
Experimentation with self
Development of
emotional skills
Identity synthesis
Who I am?
Guides life paths and decisions
Does cancer affects
identity formation?

Cancer
Disability
Distress
Social
functioning
Parental protectiveness
Cancer is the general name for a group of more than 100 diseases. Although there are many kinds of cancer, all cancers start because abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated cancers can cause
serious illness and death
(Fichtel and Larsson, 2002
(Eccleston et al., 2004)
(Huygen et al., 2000
Walker et al., 2006
Cancer
diminishes
Quality of life
School attendance
Peer-group participation
(Hunfeld et al., 2001
Roth-Isigkeit et al., 2005
Merlijn et al., 2003
Reactions similar to grief
Different from others
Cancer affects the adolescent developmental trajectory
Emotional lability
Cancer results in:
Social restrictions
Emotional restrictions
Physical restrictions
Affect adolescents’ opportunities to
explore identity
and to experiment with
social
and
emotional skills
Practice for Social Workers
Training and education
Ongoing assessment and monitoring
Intervention are based especially on CBT
Semi-structured support groups
Guidelines for that integrate assessment, diagnosis, treatment
Attention to school progress
Family interventions
Gaining
independence
Establishing one’s sense of identity
Negotiating interpersonal relationships
Making
important decisions about education and employment
Psychosocial intervention
Full transcript