Executive Function, Coping, and Psychological Adjustment in Pediatric Brain Tumor Survivors
While new treatments have increased the survival rate of pediatric patients with brain tumors, they have also left this population with many adverse cognitive, emotional, and behavioral outcomes. Prior research provides evidence to support an association between cognitive function and use of complex secondary control coping strategies (e.g., acceptance and cognitive reappraisal). In children with brain tumors and other populations of children with chronic illness, these coping strategies have been associated with fewer adjustment problems.The present study used cognitive assessments and questionnaires to measure cognitive function, coping strategies, and emotional and behavioral problems in children aged 6 to 16 years near the time of diagnosis of a brain tumor and at four follow-up time-points up to 2 years post-diagnosis.The associations between domains of cognitive function, coping strategies (primary control coping, secondary control coping, disengagement coping) and emotional and behavioral problems were examined using correlational analyses. Significant correlations were found between working memory and secondary control coping across all time-points. Correlations between secondary control coping and adjustment (including attention problems and symptoms of anxiety and depression) were also significant. There was no significant association between working memory and adjustment. Future directions and implications are discussed.