Considerations of Culture and Social Class for Families Facing Cancer: The Need for a New Model for Health Promotion and Psychosocial Intervention

Catherine A. Marshall, Linda K. Larkey, Melissa A Curran, Karen L Weihs, Terry A Badger, Julie Armin, Francisco A Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cancer is a family experience, and family members often have as much, or more, difficulty in coping with cancer as does the person diagnosed with cancer. Using both family systems and sociocultural frameworks, we call for a new model of health promotion and psychosocial intervention that builds on the current understanding that family members, as well as the individuals diagnosed with cancer, are themselves survivors of cancer. We argue that considering culture, or the values, beliefs, and customs of the family, including their choice of language, is necessary to understand fully a family's response to cancer. Likewise, acknowledging social class is necessary to understand how access to, and understanding of, otherwise available interventions for families facing cancer can be limited. Components of the model as conceptualized are discussed and provide guidance for psychosocial cancer health disparities research and the development of family-focused, strength-based, interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
Volume29
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011

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Health Promotion
Social Class
Neoplasms
Survivors
Language
Health
Research

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Culture
  • Family
  • Low-income
  • Psychosocial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this

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abstract = "Cancer is a family experience, and family members often have as much, or more, difficulty in coping with cancer as does the person diagnosed with cancer. Using both family systems and sociocultural frameworks, we call for a new model of health promotion and psychosocial intervention that builds on the current understanding that family members, as well as the individuals diagnosed with cancer, are themselves survivors of cancer. We argue that considering culture, or the values, beliefs, and customs of the family, including their choice of language, is necessary to understand fully a family's response to cancer. Likewise, acknowledging social class is necessary to understand how access to, and understanding of, otherwise available interventions for families facing cancer can be limited. Components of the model as conceptualized are discussed and provide guidance for psychosocial cancer health disparities research and the development of family-focused, strength-based, interventions.",
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