Department of Nursing, ChungNam National University, Kroea.
The family value is expected to play a crucial role in adjusting a new environment for the family, especially in the critical situation as having a child with cancer in the family. The purpose of the study was to analyze the family values of the family with cancer children in order to offer descriptive data, which will facilitate family adjustment with cancer children. The survey was conducted from July 18, 2000 to August 30, 2000 and the analysis included 309 parents of the children who have been diagnosed as cancer, 18 years of age or less, and treated either hospitalized or at the outpatient clinics. Two instruments were used to measure family value. The modified form of General family value scale was 18 items with a 5 points of Likert response format (Cronbach alpha= .78) and Family value scale was developed for the study with 12 items on a 5 points of Likert response format(Cronbach alpha= .73). The data analysis utilized SAS 6.12 for percentage, frequency, Mean, and t-test of demographic characteristics and mean, F score, ANOVA, and Duncan follow-up test of variable relationships.
The study findings were as follows. 1) In General family value, the fathers gave the higher scores to 'The children should live with their parents'(M=4.01), and 'A parents and their children are like one body' (M=3.91). The item with lowest score was 'Its not impossible for man to have extramarital relationship'(M=1.92). The mothers thought the most important items were 'A parents and their children are like one body'(M=3.79), and 'A wife needs to be patient to keep harmony of the family' (M=3.56), and the item with lowest score was 'Its not impossible for man to have extramarital relationship'(M=1.44). 2) The mean scores of the mothers were higher than the fathers for all items in family value with cancer children, while fathers gave more points for items in general family value. Both of parents gave the highest score to 'The health of the family is most important to me'(M=4.85 for fathers, M=4.97 for mothers), and followed by 'The husband and wife need to be patient and understand each other to overcome the difficulties'. The item with lowest scores was 'The parents can have conflicts in making decisions since their child was sick'(M=3.34 for fathers, M=3.37 for mothers). 3) There were significant differences between fathers and mothers in items of General family value; fathers gave more points to the items of 'The children should live with their parents', 'Its essential to hold the ceremony to respect their forefathers', 'Its not impossible for man to have extramarital relationship', 'A woman with two daughters should have one more baby to succeed the generation', 'The husbands are responsible for the household economy', and 'When his mother and wife dont get along, the man should be on his mothers side'. However, there was no significant difference between fathers and mothers in items of Family value with cancer children. 4) The general family value was significantly different by the birth order of cancer children, mothers age, mothers education level, and types of payment. On the other hand, the family value with cancer children was significantly different by the age of cancer children, period of illness, period after completing treatment, family type, the number of family members, and the number of total children.