Intrusive Thoughts and Psychological Adjustment to Breast Cancer: Exploring the Moderating and Mediating Role of Global Meaning and Emotional Expressivity

  • Fotios Anagnostopoulos
  • Julie Slater
  • Deborah Fitzsimmons


The aim of this study was to investigate the moderating and mediating role of global meaning and emotional expressivity in the relationship between intrusive thoughts and psychological adjustment (as indicated by mental health status) in a sample of breast cancer patients (N = 153). Coping with cancer was also included as an intervening variable to be tested. Moderating effects were explored using a series of hierarchical regression analysis, while multiple mediated effects were tested through bootstrapping procedures. Results showed that global personal meaning had both direct and indirect (mediating) effects on psychological adjustment. Emotional expressivity had neither moderating nor mediating effects on psychological adjustment. These results indicated that a strong sense of personal meaning and purpose in life, and an integrated understanding of self and life may lessen the impact of intrusive thoughts on breast cancer patients’ psychological adjustment and mental health status. Implications of the findings for clinical practice and recommendations for future research are discussed.


Breast cancer Mediation Moderation Global meaning Intrusive thoughts 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fotios Anagnostopoulos
    • 1
  • Julie Slater
    • 2
  • Deborah Fitzsimmons
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyPanteion UniversityAthensGreece
  2. 2.School of Health ScienceSwansea UniversitySwanseaUK

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