A longitudinal investigation of coping strategies and quality of life among younger women with breast cancer

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



*Adaptation, Psychological; Adult; Attitude to Health; Breast Neoplasms; Emotions; Female; Humans; Longitudinal Studies; Mental Processes; Middle Aged; Neuropsychological Tests; Quality of Life; Social Support; Spirituality; Time Factors


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


It is generally assumed that coping strategies impact quality of life (QOL). It is plausible that QOL determines use of coping strategies. This research examines coping strategies over time and the reciprocal relationship between coping strategies and QOL among younger women with breast cancer. Women with breast cancer (N = 267; mean age = 43 years) completed surveys within 6 months of diagnosis and 6 weeks and 6 months later. Surveys included questions on coping strategies, QOL, medical factors, and sociodemographics. Positive cognitive restructuring was the most frequently used strategy. Over time, use of seeking social support, spirituality, and wishful thinking declined, while detachment increased. Prior QOL predicted three subsequent coping strategies (seeking social support, keeping feelings to self, wishful thinking). Coping strategies were minimally related to subsequent QOL. Coping strategies and QOL are dynamic processes. QOL may predict coping strategies equally or more than vice versa.

DOI of Published Version



J Behav Med. 2009 Aug;32(4):371-9. Epub 2009 Mar 24. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of behavioral medicine

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID