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Social Competence in Childhood Cancer Patients

Social deficits have been observed as a consistent ‘late effect’ for childhood cancer patients. A late effect is a side effect that occurs months or years after treatment and can be physical, or psychological. Specifically, children with cancer have been described by their peers and teachers as being more socially isolated and withdrawn (Barrera, Shaw, Speechley, Maunsell, & Pogany, 2005). These difficulties seem to persist from treatment into survivorship. Certainly, however, not all patients with cancer experience these difficulties. Research is currently being conducted that is attempting to identify risk and protective factors.

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