Oncology summer camp: Benefits of social comparison

Lisa J. Meltzer, Mary T. Rourke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


In this study, we examined social comparison, perceived self-competence, and social isolation among 34 adolescents with cancer who attended an oncology summer camp. Participants completed questionnaires on the first and last day of camp. The results indicate that adolescents felt more similar to camp peers than home peers and that these peer comparisons were related to social acceptance, physical appearance, global self-worth, and loneliness. The results of this study demonstrate that disease-specific summer camps provide adolescents with a community of similar peers who are an appropriate comparison group for self-evaluation. In turn, these social comparisons are related to improved psychosocial outcomes. The benefit of social comparison at an oncology camp should not be overlooked by researchers and health care professionals who plan, staff, and refer children to these programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-314
Number of pages10
JournalChildren's Health Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology


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