Effects of Optimism, Social Support, Fighting Spirit, Cancer Worry and Internal Health Locus of Control on Positive Affect in Cancer Survivors: A Path Analysis

Kayleigh Kwah, Sue Winstanley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis can extend through treatment, well into cancer survivorship and can be influenced by a range of psychosocial resources. At different stages in this trajectory, optimism is known to affect well-being directly. This study focusing upon the potential to flourish after cancer, investigates the relationship between optimism and positive affect during cancer survivorship together with four possible mediators: social support, fighting spirit, internal health locus of control and cancer worry, all of which have been shown to be important predictors of well-being in cancer patients. Participants (n = 102) from online cancer forums completed standardized questionnaires, and path analysis confirmed that optimism had a direct effect on positive affect in cancer survivors. Social support and fighting spirit were also shown to be significant mediators of this relationship, accounting collectively for 50% of the variance in positive affect. Whilst cancer worry and internal health locus of control could be predicted from levels of optimism, they did not mediate the optimism-positive affect relationship. Efforts to promote optimism and thus encourage fighting spirit at diagnosis through treatment may be worthwhile interventions, as would ensuring appropriate social support through the trajectory.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)408-415
Number of pages8
JournalStress and Health
Volume28
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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Internal-External Control
Social Support
Survivors
Health
Neoplasms
Survival Rate
Optimism
Psychology

Keywords

  • cancer
  • optimism
  • positive affect
  • well-being
  • social support
  • fighting spirit;
  • internal health locus of control
  • cancer worry

Cite this

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title = "Effects of Optimism, Social Support, Fighting Spirit, Cancer Worry and Internal Health Locus of Control on Positive Affect in Cancer Survivors: A Path Analysis",
abstract = "The psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis can extend through treatment, well into cancer survivorship and can be influenced by a range of psychosocial resources. At different stages in this trajectory, optimism is known to affect well-being directly. This study focusing upon the potential to flourish after cancer, investigates the relationship between optimism and positive affect during cancer survivorship together with four possible mediators: social support, fighting spirit, internal health locus of control and cancer worry, all of which have been shown to be important predictors of well-being in cancer patients. Participants (n = 102) from online cancer forums completed standardized questionnaires, and path analysis confirmed that optimism had a direct effect on positive affect in cancer survivors. Social support and fighting spirit were also shown to be significant mediators of this relationship, accounting collectively for 50{\%} of the variance in positive affect. Whilst cancer worry and internal health locus of control could be predicted from levels of optimism, they did not mediate the optimism-positive affect relationship. Efforts to promote optimism and thus encourage fighting spirit at diagnosis through treatment may be worthwhile interventions, as would ensuring appropriate social support through the trajectory.",
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TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of Optimism, Social Support, Fighting Spirit, Cancer Worry and Internal Health Locus of Control on Positive Affect in Cancer Survivors

T2 - A Path Analysis

AU - Kwah, Kayleigh

AU - Winstanley, Sue

PY - 2012

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N2 - The psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis can extend through treatment, well into cancer survivorship and can be influenced by a range of psychosocial resources. At different stages in this trajectory, optimism is known to affect well-being directly. This study focusing upon the potential to flourish after cancer, investigates the relationship between optimism and positive affect during cancer survivorship together with four possible mediators: social support, fighting spirit, internal health locus of control and cancer worry, all of which have been shown to be important predictors of well-being in cancer patients. Participants (n = 102) from online cancer forums completed standardized questionnaires, and path analysis confirmed that optimism had a direct effect on positive affect in cancer survivors. Social support and fighting spirit were also shown to be significant mediators of this relationship, accounting collectively for 50% of the variance in positive affect. Whilst cancer worry and internal health locus of control could be predicted from levels of optimism, they did not mediate the optimism-positive affect relationship. Efforts to promote optimism and thus encourage fighting spirit at diagnosis through treatment may be worthwhile interventions, as would ensuring appropriate social support through the trajectory.

AB - The psychological impact of a cancer diagnosis can extend through treatment, well into cancer survivorship and can be influenced by a range of psychosocial resources. At different stages in this trajectory, optimism is known to affect well-being directly. This study focusing upon the potential to flourish after cancer, investigates the relationship between optimism and positive affect during cancer survivorship together with four possible mediators: social support, fighting spirit, internal health locus of control and cancer worry, all of which have been shown to be important predictors of well-being in cancer patients. Participants (n = 102) from online cancer forums completed standardized questionnaires, and path analysis confirmed that optimism had a direct effect on positive affect in cancer survivors. Social support and fighting spirit were also shown to be significant mediators of this relationship, accounting collectively for 50% of the variance in positive affect. Whilst cancer worry and internal health locus of control could be predicted from levels of optimism, they did not mediate the optimism-positive affect relationship. Efforts to promote optimism and thus encourage fighting spirit at diagnosis through treatment may be worthwhile interventions, as would ensuring appropriate social support through the trajectory.

KW - cancer

KW - optimism

KW - positive affect

KW - well-being

KW - social support

KW - fighting spirit;

KW - internal health locus of control

KW - cancer worry

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