Looking at the Silver Lining:Posttraumatic Growth in Young Breast Cancer Survivors
1 online resource (163 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
This study examined negative and positive experiences reported by a sample of young breast cancer survivors (N = 87; ages 25-45) at approximately 12 months post-diagnosis. Qualitative and quantitative analyses were conducted including utilization of Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) software to explore relationships between psychosocial variables and positive and negative emotion words used in response to open-ended items. Multiple themes of negative experiences emerged indicating that young breast cancer survivors struggle with issues related to side effects/treatment, concern for the future, relationship/interpersonal issues, difficulty coping, appearance/self-esteem issues, employment, parenting, and other general life events. Responses to an open-ended item regarding positive aspects of the breast cancer experience revealed themes of posttraumatic growth (PTG), improved self-care, and adaptive coping efforts. A Total Negative Experiences Score and Total Positive Experiences Score were calculated based upon open-ended item responses and compared with measures of PTG, depression, coping, quality of life, and social support. Results indicate that participants reporting a greater number of negative experiences reported greater depression, pain, and cognitive problems. Greater usage of negative emotion words as calculated by LIWC software was related to greater depression, pain, cognitive difficulties, negative feelings, and fewer positive feelings. Greater number of reported positive experiences was related to higher levels of PTG, positive reappraisal, religious coping, active coping, and less denial. Greater usage of positive emotion words was related to lower levels of reported social avoidance, cognitive difficulties, and negative feelings. Implications for future research are discussed.
BREAST CANCERCOPINGPOSTTRAUMATIC GROWTHTRAUMAYOUNG SURVIVORS
Calhoun, LawrenceCann, ArnieDanhauer, SuzanneLong, Shawn
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2013.
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