Date Available


Year of Publication


Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Michael Andrkowski

Second Advisor

Charles R. Carlson


Recent theories suggest that cognitive and emotional processing is critical to successful adjustment to traumatic experiences, such as breast cancer. Cognitive and emotional processing of trauma can be facilitated by both dispositional (e.g., emotional intelligence) and situational (e.g., social supports, social constraints) factors. The present study investigated the relationship between emotional intelligence and current social support and constraints in a sample of 190 breast cancer survivors (mean age=48.3 years; SD=8.9). Women were recruited via postings to on-line breast cancer support groups. Postings to support groups described the study, and provided a link to the study web site. The study consisted of eight web pages, each containing a separate questionnaire. Study questionnaires included a demographic/clinical screening, and self-report measures of social support, social constraints, intrusive ideation and avoidance, anxiety, depression, and emotional intelligence. Multiple regression analyses indicated that high social constraints and low emotional intelligence were associated with high psychological distress, while there was no significant association with social support. In conclusion, study results support the social-cognitive processing model. The inclusion of emotional intelligence may further broaden this model, and foster additional research. Results also demonstrate that Internet-based data collection is a useful research method.