Little research has been done to explore how the psychological symptoms of child and adolescent cancer survivors change in the decades following successful treatment. This article examines these changes with a focus on the utility of a posttraumatic stress framework for understanding the long-term coping issues that individuals face as they mature and make transitions to young adulthood. First, the literature supporting the use of a posttraumatic stress framework in child and adolescent survivors is reviewed. Developmental contributions to changes and increases in posttraumatic symptomatology during young adulthood are then discussed and posttraumatic symptoms most often seen in this group are presented. Preliminary research with young adult survivors is also reviewed and discussed as support for a posttraumatic stress framework with this population. Ongoing research efforts aimed at elaborating on this framework are described. Finally, clinical implications for health care providers are explored, and guidelines for assessing the impact of posttraumatic stress on young adults' use of health care resources are offered.
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