Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Can Making Video Narratives Benefit Adolescents with Cancer
by Pereira, Lila, Ph.D., Palo Alto University, 2017, 113; 10288231
Abstract (Summary)

Teens with cancer can face a myriad of psychological symptoms. These symptoms include those related to depression, medical trauma, and anxiety, in addition to any of the typical trials of adolescence. Although healthy teens navigate normal developmental challenges by turning to their peers, family, and social institutions (such as places of worship, etc.), teens with cancer are often isolated from their support networks due to lengthy hospital stays and recovery. The unique challenges faced by adolescents with cancer set them apart from their healthy peers, families, and social institutions in ways that may be difficult to surmount. Electronic means to communicate both privately and publicly were neither widely accessible nor mastered by teens prior to the 1990s. Currently, however, not only are social networking platforms accessible and available to most teens, but there are also websites specifically geared for the use of teens with cancer. The aims of the current research were to (A) enlist teens with cancer to produce video narratives about their experiences with their illness, (B) explicitly characterize and investigate the videos’ content while comparing this to the content of healthy teens discussing a stressful event, and (C) determine what aspects of the production were helpful to the teens making them and predicted to be helpful to those watching them as compared to their healthy peers. Results suggested that while significant difficulties were faced with recruitment of adolescents with cancer (and adolescents with the most severe symptoms and treatment of cancer did not particularly benefit from this exercise), a number of factors relating to resilient qualities within the narrative and legacy making had a positive impact on the narrator (regardless of group), planned health related behaviors, and perceived relationships with others (notably the adolescents with cancers’ medical team). The positive impact of producing one’s narrative on film, especially when the narrator allowed themselves to be the primary subject of the narrative and had a greater understanding of their story as a whole, was statistically stronger in adolescents with cancer compared to their peers. While more research is needed to further characterize these relationships, one could tentatively say that making testimonial videos is indeed beneficial for adolescents with cancer.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Russell, Robert L.
Commitee: Barrera, Alinne, Packman, Wendy
School: Palo Alto University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 79/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychology, Oncology
Keywords: AYA, Illness narrative, Pediatric psychology, Psycho-oncology, Video testimonial
Publication Number: 10288231
ISBN: 978-0-355-51905-1
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