Objective: Brain tumors during childhood may disrupt the development and maintenance of friendships due to the impact of disease- and treatment-related factors on functioning. The goal of this study was to determine if children treated for either a brain tumor or a non-central nervous system (CNS) solid tumor could name a friend and to evaluate the social information processes associated with the ability to name a friend. Method: Youth (ages 7-14) treated for either a brain tumor (n = 47; mean age = 10.51 years) or a non-CNS solid tumor (n = 34; mean age = 11.29) completed an assessment within 6 months of the conclusion of treatment that included asking participants to name a friend and completing measures of social information processing (SIP). Rates of self-reported friendship were compared between groups and correlates of being able to name a friend were evaluated. Results: Youth treated for a brain tumor (61.7%) were significantly less likely to name a friend compared with youth treated for a non-CNS solid tumor (85.3%). Diagnosis type (brain vs. non-CNS), relapse status, attribution style, and facial affect recognition were significant predictors of being able to name a friend or not in a logistic regression model. Conclusions: Youth treated for a brain tumor and those who experienced a disease relapse are at risk for impairments in friendships; difficulties with SIP may increase this risk. Targeted screening and intervention efforts for children diagnosed with brain tumors and those who have relapsed could address difficulties with peers.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Pediatric Psychology|
|State||Published - 1 Mar 2020|
- brain tumor
- pediatric cancer
- social cognition
- social competence