Understanding the Stress Process of Chinese- and Korean-American Breast Cancer Survivors


Guided by the stress process model (SPM), this study investigated the direct and indirect pathways of primary (negative self-image and life stress), secondary stressors (family communication strain) and family coping (external and internal) on mental health outcomes among Chinese- and Korean-American breast cancer survivors (BCS). A total of 156 Chinese- and Korean-American BCS were surveyed. Results showed primary and secondary stressors had a negative effect on better mental health outcomes. External coping was associated with better mental health. Family communication strain mediated the relationship between life stress and mental health outcomes. External coping mediated the relationship between family communication strain and mental health outcomes. Multi-group analysis revealed the stress process did not differ across ethnic groups. Findings suggest the SPM may be applicable to understand the stress process of Chinese- and Korean-American BCS and provide valuable insight into the role of family communication and external coping on mental health outcomes.

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This study was funded by NIH/NCI, 1R03CA139941 (PI: Jung-won Lim, PhD). Min-So Paek is supported by the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University Cancer Control Traineeship, NCI/NIH grant #R25CA122061 (PI: Nancy E. Avis).

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Correspondence to Min-So Paek.

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Paek, MS., Lim, Jw. Understanding the Stress Process of Chinese- and Korean-American Breast Cancer Survivors. J Immigrant Minority Health 18, 1159–1167 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-015-0255-4

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  • Breast cancer survivor
  • Asian-American
  • Stress process
  • Quality of life
  • Family coping