Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Education, Counseling

Date of Defense

12-9-2013

Graduate Advisor

Robert Rocco Cottone, Ph.D.

Committee

Richard Rosenfeld

Brian Hutchison, Ph.D.

Margaret Barton-Burke, Ph.D.

Abstract

This study examined counseling preferences and health-related quality of life of young adult cancer survivors. Three hundred and twenty young adult cancer survivors completed an online survey that assessed their ratings of counseling topic preferences for individual, group and family counseling; counseling modality preferences; perceived social support; meaning in life; and physical, social, emotional, functional, and spiritual domains of health-related quality of life. Results indicated that young adult cancer survivors rated individual counseling as their primary choice of counseling modality, followed by group counseling, and lastly family counseling. Participants rated individual and group counseling as having an equal number of counseling topics that would be helpful to discuss in those counseling modalities. Participants rated fewer topics as helpful to discuss in family counseling. Participants rated five topics as more helpful to discuss in individual counseling than group or family counseling: anxiety, finances, sad feelings, sexual/intimacy concerns, and stress management. Participants rated two topics as more helpful to discuss in group counseling than individual or family counseling: finding social support and getting information about one’s medical situation. No topics were rated more helpful to discuss in family counseling than in individual or group counseling. Findings also demonstrated that perceived social support and presence of meaning in life were positive predictors of physical, emotional, social, functional, and spiritual domains of health-related quality of life. Higher levels of socioeconomic status and completion of medical treatment were also frequent positive predictors of health-related quality of life domains. Participants who were partnered reported higher levels of perceived social support, meaning in life, and social health-related quality of life than participants who were single. Participants who had completed medical treatment reported higher levels of physical, emotional, functional, and spiritual health-related quality of life than participants who were currently receiving medical treatment. Participants of higher levels of socioeconomic status reported higher levels of meaning in life and all domains of health-related quality of life included in this study than participants of lower levels of socioeconomic status. Implications for counselors and suggestions for future research are discussed.

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