February 18, 2019

Third year Family Science doctoral student Ashley Pantaleao recently published an article entitled “Couples coping with screening burden and diagnostic uncertainty in Li-Fraumeni syndrome: Connection versus independence” in the Journal of Psychosocial Oncology. Pantaleao and colleagues evaluated couples' coping with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome (LFS)-related burdens. LFS is an inherited tumor predisposition syndrome with lifetime cancer risks approaching 100% and evolving risk-management strategies. The study utilized data from the NCI LFS Family Study to identify patterns of coping and adaptation in couples. The study found that couples described living with ambiguous danger, a state of chronic apprehension resulting from LFS-associated uncertainties. Moreover, most couples communicated openly and alternated shouldering the burden, while others engaged in protective buffering to shield each other from distress and sustain the appearance of normalcy. Implications of this research include providing mental health support for both partners coping with LFS, together and separately.

“It’s great to be able to co-author with Dr. Jennifer Young, a recent alum of the department,” said Pantaleao.

If you are interested in reading more about the exciting new developments in the Family Science field, you can find a link to the article here. The Journal of Psychosocial Oncology is an essential source for up-to-date clinical and research material geared toward health professionals who provide psychosocial services to cancer patients, their families, and their caregivers.

Ashley is a third-year doctoral student in the Family Science program. She graduated with a M.A. in Health Psychology from Central Connecticut State University. Her research interests focus on the dynamic relationship between a parent/caregiver and their child.  Ashley has 5 years of experience working at a children's hospital as a research assistant. Many of Ashley’s research experiences have focused specifically on the parent-child relationship in the context of the child having a chronic illness or other significant health concerns. Ashley enjoys cooking, going to fitness classes, and going on hikes in her spare time.

Related People
Ashley Pantaleao