Grantee: Matthew C. Hocking, PhD

Matthew C. Hocking

Matthew C. Hocking, PhD

Pediatric Psychologist and Behavioral Scientist
  • Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The mission of Dr. Hocking's research program is to better understand the neurodevelopmental consequences associated with surviving childhood cancer, to identify those who are most at risk for poor outcomes, and to intervene in some way to improve quality of life. The long-term goal of this work is to enhance outcomes and overall quality of life for survivors of pediatric cancer and their families. Children who have been treated for brain cancer are at particular risk for significant neurocognitive and social late effects that emerge in the years after the completion of treatment and can negatively impact functional outcomes and mental health. Dr. Hocking's interests in this area grew out of his experiences in graduate school as a practicum student in a multidisciplinary clinic for survivors of childhood cancer. During his interactions with survivors, Dr. Hocking became aware of the "cost of cure" for these youth, and it spurred his desires to reduce the impact of these costs.

In his current project, Dr. Hocking will examine how the degree of social connectedness of survivors of pediatric brain cancer influences later health and well-being and will identify specific risk and mechanistic factors for poor social connectedness in survivors. Knowledge gained from this project will inform the development of effective interventions targeting risk and mechanistic factors to improve social connectedness and well-being.

As a graduate student, I worked in a multidisciplinary clinic where I conducted psychological consultations for survivors of childhood cancer. The experience of meeting these youth who had been cured of their cancer but were experiencing significant health problems and developmental issues had a substantial impact on me. I became particularly fascinated by the effects of cancer treatments on the developing brain and the different problems that occur as a result.”

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