Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 2, pp 619–627 | Cite as

Male coping processes as demonstrated in the context of a cancer-related social support group

  • Stephen K. Trapp
  • Jacqueline D. Woods
  • Alicia Grove
  • Marilyn Stern
Original Article



The coping styles of five adult men within the context of a cancer-related social support group and their preferences regarding group support were examined.


Considering the paucity of literature on male coping processes within a cancer-related social support group, qualitative methods were employed. Specifically, template analysis was used to analyze the range and quality of coping styles.


In contrast to the commonly cited solitary and emotionally restricted coping qualities associated with the male gender role, an emphasis on seeking connection and emotional support in their coping efforts was discovered. Preferences of group qualities (e.g., participant characteristics and session topics) that emerged included an interest in connection, mixed sex groups, and groups composed of mixed diagnoses.


The findings of this study can contribute to the development of interventions aimed at increasing the effectiveness of male coping in group-focused supportive services in cancer care.


Coping Cancer Support group Men Gender role 



The authors would like to thank the following institution and people for their support in preparing this manuscript: Gilda's Club International; Andrew Finch, Ph.D.; and Allison Palmberg, BS.

Conflict of interest

The authors have none to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephen K. Trapp
    • 1
  • Jacqueline D. Woods
    • 1
  • Alicia Grove
    • 1
  • Marilyn Stern
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyVirginia Commonwealth UniversityRichmondUSA

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