Journal of Community Health

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 467–482 | Cite as

Loneliness, emotional repression, marital quality, and major life events in women who develop breast cancer

  • Cyndy M. Fox
  • A. Patricia Harper
  • Gerald C. Hyner
  • Roseann M. Lyle


Women awaiting mammograms at a breast clinic were given questionnaires to investigate the role of psychosocial variables in the development of breast cancer while controlling for established breast cancer risk factors. Questionnaires to determine loneliness, emotional repression, marital quality, and major life changes were completed by 826 female volunteers who were later classified into groups according to their diagnoses. The total emotional repression score showed a hierarchy of most repression to least repression for the most-diseased to the most-healthy subjects. A breakdown of the emotional repression scale revealed that each group was significantly different from the other in suppression of anger and unhappiness. Women in the new cancer group showed significantly more loneliness than the women in the fibrocystic and normal groups. The newly diagnosed cancer group also had a higher proportion of women who experienced the death of a spouse or close family member within the past two years compared to the other groups.


Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Risk Cancer Group Develop Breast Cancer Psychosocial Variable 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cyndy M. Fox
  • A. Patricia Harper
    • 2
  • Gerald C. Hyner
    • 1
  • Roseann M. Lyle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Health, Kinesiology, and Leisure Studies at Purdue UniversityWest Lafayette
  2. 2.The Indianapolis Breast CenterIndianapolis

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