Childhood Cancer Survivors’ Executive Functioning Skills: Does Scaffolding Bolster Behavioral Functioning?
Exterior scaffolding is often indicated for childhood cancer survivors to compensate for weak executive functioning. Since parents become accustomed to intervening with the child during illness and treatment and are comfortable acting as a child’s external executive, an intervention was provided to empower parents to help their child cancer survivors. The sample consisted of 44 childhood cancer survivors, ages 6 to 18 years, whose parents were randomly assigned to parent training intervention or waitlist control. The intervention included 8 individual sessions over a 3-month period, teaching parents about attention, executive functioning, and memory, and related techniques to implement with their child. Children in the intervention demonstrated improvement in executive functioning, and executive functioning at baseline was associated with greater improvements in behavior. Intervening with parents of pediatric cancer survivors seems to have provided effective scaffolding for improving cognitive flexibility, externalizing problems, and behavioral symptoms for these children.
Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology (PhD)
Cancer in children, Rehabilitation, Executive functions, Neuropsychology, Child psychology