Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 557–580 | Cite as

Early Stage Breast Cancer: Explaining Level of Psychosocial Adjustment Using Structural Equation Modeling

  • Petra J. Vos
  • Bert Garssen
  • Adriaan P. Visser
  • Hugo J. Duivenvoorden
  • Hanneke C. J. M. de Haes


In many women, the diagnosis of breast cancer leads to psychosocial adjustment problems. Biodemographic variables, coping, and social support are factors that influence psychosocial adjustment. The main objective of the present study was to identify and estimate the associations between psychosocial adjustment and biodemographic variables, coping, and social support by using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). Eighty-seven women with newly diagnosed early stage breast cancer completed several questionnaires covering these areas. It appeared that in the period shortly after surgery, coping style, especially illness-specific coping, is of high relevance for psychosocial adjustment. In our study, we could not confirm the positive role of social support found in other studies on psychosocial adjustment. Biodemographic variables had both direct and indirect associations with psychosocial adjustment: older women and women who had had breast-conserving treatment used a more optimistic coping style; the latter group also reported higher body image; and finally, women with a more advanced stage of disease reported a reduction in recreational activities.

breast cancer psychosocial adjustment coping social support 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petra J. Vos
    • 1
  • Bert Garssen
    • 1
  • Adriaan P. Visser
    • 1
  • Hugo J. Duivenvoorden
    • 2
  • Hanneke C. J. M. de Haes
    • 3
  1. 1.Helen Dowling InstituteUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Medical Psychology and PsychotherapyRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Medical PsychologyAcademic Medical Centre, University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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