Unmitigated Communion and Adjustment to Breast Cancer: Associations and Explanations

Date of Original Version




Abstract or Description

The goal of this study was to examine the implications of unmitigated communion (a focus on others to the exclusion of the self) for adjustment to breast cancer and to explain any observed relations. Cognitive adaptation theory was the primary explanatory framework adopted. Unmitigated communion was cross-sectionally associated with poor mental and physical functioning among women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Prospectively, unmitigated communion predicted a decline in a couple of indicators of mental and physical functioning over 3 months. Unmitigated communion was inversely associated with indicators of cognitive adaptation: low self-esteem, poor body image, less optimism, and greater reliance on external control. Unmitigated communion also was associated with more negative interactions with network members and a decline in support over time. The decline in body image over time had the greatest potential to explain links of unmitigated communion to poor adjustment to disease.




Published In

Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 33, 8, 1643-1661.