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Parenthood, Reference groups, Time



  1. Hayout, Ilana R.N., Ph.D.
  2. Krulik, Tamar R.N., Ph.D.


This article presents partial findings from a study that examined the process experienced by parents (mainly mothers) of an adolescent child with terminal cancer. It focuses on two processes that characterize the parents' social world: a crisis in the parental role and a departure from the normative life cycle. These processes, and the parents' coping with them, were studied from the perspective of time and time management. One of the study's claims was that the terminal disease alters the definition of parenthood and causes the parents to depart from the normative life cycle. The study's purpose was to find and explain the coping patterns used by the parents of terminally ill adolescents. This article focuses on two of the various side effects discovered: the distortion of the subjects' time world and the test of parenthood.