Couples' Adjustment to Breast Disease During the First Year Following Diagnosis
- Cite this article as:
- Northouse, L., Templin, T. & Mood, D. J Behav Med (2001) 24: 115. doi:10.1023/A:1010772913717
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The objectives were to determine (a) the extent to which psychosocial, demographic, and medical variables predict women's and husbands' adjustment to breast disease during the first year following diagnosis; (b) the degree of autocorrelation among and intercorrelation between partners' adjustment scores; (c) the extent to which baseline levels of adjustment predict adjustment 1 year later; and (d) the extent to which one partner's adjustment affects the other partner's adjustment. A stress-coping framework guided this study. The sample consisted of 131 couples, 58 couples received a cancer diagnosis and 73 received a benign diagnosis. Couples were interviewed at 1 week, 2 months, and 1 year postdiagnosis. Structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. The strongest predictors of adjustment for women were severity of the illness and hopelessness and for husbands, their own baseline level of adjustment. Husbands' and wives' levels of adjustment at 1 year had a significant direct effect on each other's adjustment.