Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings

, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp 271–280

An Examination of Race Differences in Patients' Psychological Adjustment to Cancer

  • James R. Rodrigue

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026271431384

Cite this article as:
Rodrigue, J.R. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings (1997) 4: 271. doi:10.1023/A:1026271431384


Although African Americans are at increased risk of cancer morbidity and mortality, very little is known about their psychological adjustment. African American males may be at especially high psychological risk, considering their disproportionately higher cancer mortality. Subjects were 42 African American and 56 White adults similar in age, cancer stage, marital status, and socioeconomic status. Analyses revealed no significant race or gender effects on global indices of psychological adjustment, depression, or anxiety. However, African Americans were more likely than Whites (a) to use avoidant coping strategies in dealing with the exigencies of their illness, (b) to report more cancer-related disruption in family relations, and (c) to identify fewer individuals in their social support network. No significant race differences were found on a measure of health care satisfaction. These findings highlight the need to provide a more comprehensive examination of individual, family, and socioecological variables and their relationship to psychological adaptation among minorities with cancer.

health psychologyethnicitycancerracehealth care

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • James R. Rodrigue
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyUniversity of Florida Health Sciences CenterGainesville