CRVAW Faculty Journal Articles


Posttraumatic Growth Following Breast Cancer: A Controlled Comparison Study


Cancer may be viewed as a psychosocial transition with the potential for positive and negative outcomes. This cross-sectional study (a) compared breast cancer (BC) survivors' (n = 70) self-reports of depression, well-being, and posttraumatic growth with those of age- and education-matched healthy comparison women (n = 70) and (b) identified correlates of posttraumatic growth among BC survivors. Groups did not differ in depression or well-being, but the BC group showed a pattern of greater posttraumatic growth, particularly in relating to others, appreciation of life, and spiritual change. BC participants' posttraumatic growth was unrelated to distress or well-being but was positively associated with perceived life-threat, prior talking about breast cancer, income, and time since diagnosis. Research that has focused solely on detection of distress and its correlates may paint an incomplete and potentially misleading picture of adjustment to cancer.

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