Strangers in their own land: friendship issues when children have cancer
Fraser, D. (2003). Strangers in their own land: Friendship issues when children have cancer. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 3 (3), 147-157.
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/6801
More children than ever before are surviving childhood cancer. While treatment protocols have improved, there is little consideration given to their ongoing educational needs, including their social needs for positive peer relationships and friendships. This qualitative study of 12 families included children from four to 15 years of age. Most of the children were attending primary school and half were still undergoing treatment. Interviews in family homes were undertaken with parents, children with cancer and their siblings. The results show that most of these children with cancer have special social relationship needs beyond the impact of absence from school. This article focuses specifically upon friendships and peer relationships which often change dramatically when a child has cancer. Such changes can place children with cancer at risk both academically and emotionally. Some suggestions for addressing this issue are explored.
- Education Papers