Our Research


For far too long, widowed parents have been underrepresented in the research literature. Our team is working to change this. We are committed to learning more about the unique challenges facing grieving parents so that we can improve care for them and their children.

Our early studies focused on the psychological functioning of widowed fathers whose spouses died from cancer. We also examined how families cope when one parent is living with advanced cancer. Our current research addresses the psychological coping of all widowed parents regardless of how their spouses died.

Peer-reviewed Publications

The following list includes our peer-reviewed publications related to widowed parenting and parenting with advanced illness:

  1. Hailey CE, Yopp JM, Deal AM, Mayer DK, Reeder-Hayes KE, Hanson LC, Grunfeld G, Rosenstein DL, Park EM. Communication with children about a parent’s advanced cancer and measures of parental anxiety and depression: A cross-sectional mixed-methods study. Supportive Care in Cancer. 2017 (July)
  2. Edwards TP, Yopp JM, Park EM, Deal AM, Biesecker BB, Rosenstein DL. Widowed parenting self-assessment scale: A new measure. Death Studies. 2017 (Jun)
  3. Park EM, Check DK, Song MK, Reeder-Hayes KE, Hanson LC, Yopp JM, Rosenstein DL, Mayer DK. Parenting while living with advanced cancer: A qualitative study. Palliative Medicine. 2017; 31(3): 231-238.
  4. Park EM, Deal AM, Yopp JM, Edwards T, Stephenson EM, Hailey CE, Rosenstein DL. End-of-life parental communication priorities among bereaved fathers due to cancer. Patient Education and Counseling. 2017; 100(5): 1019-23.
  5. Park EM, Deal AM, Yopp JM, Edwards T, Wilson DJ, Hanson LC, Rosenstein DL. End-of-life experiences of mothers with advanced cancer: perspectives of widowed fathers. British Medical Journal Supportive & Palliative Care. 2016; 6: 437-444.
  6. Park EM, Deal AM, Check DK, Hanson LC, Reeder-Hayes KE, Mayer DK, Yopp JM, Song MK, Muriel AC, Rosenstein DL. Parenting concerns, quality of life, and psychological distress in patients with advanced cancer. Psycho-Oncology. 2016; 25(8): 942-8.
  7. Check DK, Park EM, Reeder-Hayes KE, Mayer DK, Deal AM, Yopp JM, Rosenstein DL, Hanson LC. Concerns underlying treatment preferences of advanced cancer patients with children. Psycho-Oncology. 2016 May; [Epub ahead of print]
  8. Park EM, Check DK, Yopp JM, Deal AM, Edwards T, Rosenstein DL. An exploratory study of end-of-life prognostic communication needs as reported by widowed fathers due to cancer. Psycho-Oncology. 2015; 24(11): 1471-6.
  9. Yopp JM, Park EM, Edwards T, Deal AM, Rosenstein DL. Overlooked and underserved: Widowed fathers with dependent-age children. Palliative and Supportive Care. 2014; 11(1): 1-10.
  10. Yopp JM, Rosenstein DL. A support group for fathers whose partners died from cancer. Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing. 2013; 17(2): 169-173.
  11. Yopp JM, Rosenstein DL. 2012. Single fatherhood due to cancer. Psycho-Oncology. 2012; 21(12): 1362-1366.