Self-Esteem and Academic Difficulties in Preadolescents and Adolescents Healed from Paediatric Leukaemia
MetadataShow full item record
Adolescents with cancer may demonstrate problems in their self‐esteem and schooling. This study aims to screen the preadolescents and adolescents more at risk in their self‐esteem perception and schooling difficulties post‐five years from the end of therapy. Twenty‐five paediatric ex‐patients healed from leukaemia were recruited at the Haematology‐Oncologic Clinic (University of Padua). The mean age of the children was 13.64 years (Standard Deviation (SD)) = 3.08, range = 10–19 years), most were treated for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) (84%) and relatively equally distributed by gender. They filled in the Multidimensional Self‐Esteem Test, while parents completed a questionnaire on their child’s schooling. Global self‐esteem was mostly below the 50 percentile (58.5%), especially regarding interpersonal relationships (75%). An independent sample t‐test showed significant mean differences on the emotionality scale (t = 2.23; degree of freedom (df) = 24; p = 0.03) and in the bodily experience scale (t = 3.02; df = 24; p = 0.006) with survivors of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) having lower scores. An Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed significant mean differences in the bodily experience scale (F = 12.31; df = 2, p = 0.0001) depending on the survivors’ assigned risk band. The parent reports showed that 43.5% of children had difficulties at school. Childhood AML survivors with a high‐risk treatment were more at risk in their self‐esteem perceptions. Preventive interventions focusing on self‐esteem and scholastic wellbeing are suggested in order to help their return to their normal schedules.