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Posttraumatic Growth in Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors: The Role of Giving and Receiving Social Support

Mullins, Jaclyn and Hastings, Sarah and Cohn, Tracy and Pierce, Thomas Posttraumatic Growth in Breast Cancer Patients and Survivors: The Role of Giving and Receiving Social Support. [Dissertation]

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Abstract

Breast cancer is the second most commonly occurring cancer among women in the U.S. and nearly 300,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in the year 2015 (ACS, 2015). While it is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women, death rates have steadily declined over the past 15 years meaning that there more and more women are joining the ranks of survivors (ACS, 2015). Research suggests that the majority of breast cancer survivors experience posttraumatic growth (PTG) as a result of coping with the challenges that accompany a diagnosis of cancer (Koutrouli et al., 2012); however, the existing research on factors that contribute to PTG in breast cancer patients presents inconsistent results, particularly regarding the role of social support. Some studies have found social support and PTG to be positively related to one another while other studies have found no relationship at all. The majority of studies examining social support and PTG have focused specifically on emotional support; however, there is some evidence that instrumental forms of support may influence PTG more so than emotional support (Nenova et al., 2013). Also, there has been very little research examining the relationship between providing support to others and PTG. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to explore the relationship between received emotional and instrumental forms of social support and PTG, as well as the relationship between giving emotional and instrumental forms of social support and PTG, in a sample of breast cancer patients. Additionally, this study explored the relationship between the demographic variables of age and time since diagnosis and PTG.

Item Type: Dissertation
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Jaclyn Mullins
Date Deposited: 26 May 2016 09:35
Last Modified: 26 May 2016 09:35
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/237

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