Exploring the Relationship Between Psychological Resources and Breast Cancer Survivorship using Path Analysis


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Deborah K. Arnold PhD The University of Texas Medical Branch, 2016

Supervisor: Dr. Alice Hill

Psychological resources (intrapersonal, interpersonal and informational) have the ability to influence cancer survivorship. Unknown is how these resources impact the length of survival. A predictive correlational design was used to study the psychological resources of 34 women who were breast cancer survivors and were two years or more post-treatment. Women, invited to participate in an internet based study, completed a 153 item emotional intelligence (EI) questionnaire and a demographic survey. The central hypothesis was that the intrapersonal resource EI would mediate the length of survivorship.
Within the intrapersonal category, age at diagnosis and EI were negatively related (r = -.288, p = .049) with no other relationships between EI and other psychological resources. There were no differences in the length of survivorship between those who did or did not engage in interpersonal (church attendance and exercise) and informational resources (healthy lifestyle and vitamin supplements). Age at diagnosis and education accounted for 19% of the variance as a set with age at diagnosis being the larger contributor (34% vs. 29%). Path analysis revealed that only age at diagnosis negatively predicts length of survivorship (S.E. = -221, CR = .094 P = -2.338, p = .019) and EI is a weak potential mediator (S.E. = -023, CR = .013, P = -.786, p = .074).
It may be concluded with caution, that intrapersonal resources may predict the length of survivorship with EI serving as a weak mediator and that informational resources (years of education) and length of survivorship are marginally related.



Breast Cancer Breast Cancer Survivorship Emotional Intelligence Psychological Resources