A path analysis of factors associated with distress among first-degree female relatives of women with breast cancer diagnosis

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Adaptation, Psychological; Adult; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Breast Neoplasms; Cross-Sectional Studies; *Family; Female; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Massachusetts; Middle Aged; New Hampshire; Questionnaires; *Stress, Psychological


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Preventive Medicine


Patterns and predictors of psychological distress in first-degree female relatives (N = 624) of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients were explored. First-degree female relatives who were high monitors reported greater cancer-specific and general distress than did low monitors. Greater optimism was associated with lower cancer-specific distress. Optimism's effect on general distress was moderated by women's level of monitoring. Greater optimism was associated with lower general distress for both high and low monitors, but the effect was stronger for high monitors than for low monitors. Avoidance and engaged coping were associated with higher distress. A close relationship with the cancer patient was related to higher cancer-specific distress but lower general distress. Further understanding of the process of adjustment in these women awaits longitudinal study.

DOI of Published Version



Health Psychol. 2006 May;25(3):413-24. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID