Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Balkin, Richard

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Kayser, Karen

Committee Member

Kayser, Karen

Committee Member

Woo, Hongryun

Committee Member

Washington, Ahmad

Author's Keywords

cancer; siblings; life balance; sibling outcomes; social support; adult


Siblings of children who were diagnosed with cancer in childhood experience significant stress and psychological difficulties as a result of the cancer. Furthermore, the needs of siblings have often been overlooked in the cancer literature, prompting the need for more studies. The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the life balance and social support outcomes of adults who grew up in the household with a sibling that was diagnosed with cancer. The study sample consisted of 120 adult healthy siblings who grew up in a household with a sibling that was diagnosed with cancer prior to age 19. Participants completed the Juhnke-Balkin Life Balance Inventory (JBLI), Medical Outcomes Study: Social Support Survey (MOS-SSS), and Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social (MSPSS). Demographic information was also collected. Findings indicated that there is a significant difference in life balance outcomes for adult healthy siblings and the normal population. Contrary to expectations, whether or not the sibling died as a result of cancer did not influence life balance outcomes. The ten life balance subscales were significant predictors of both social support and perceived social support. Implications for counselors were provided, including the need for counselors in the cancer treatment settings. Suggestions for future research include longitudinal research on the outcomes of healthy adult healthy siblings; identifying subgroups of healthy siblings that are at risk for adverse outcomes, as well as protective factors that can improve healthy sibling outcomes; and an exploration of the relationship between life balance, social support, and perceived social support.