Social constraints and distress among women at familial risk for breast cancer

Julie B. Schnur, Heiddis B. Valdimarsdottir, Guy H. Montgomery, Jeffrey S. Nevid, Dana H. Bovbjerg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Despite literature finding support for the social cognitive processing model, which suggests that social constraints are related to distress, few studies have examined possible mediators of this effect; none have examined this relation among women with family histories of breast cancer (FH+). Purpose: This study was designed to examine possible effects of social constraints on psychological distress among FH+ women. Methods: Sixty FH+ women (M age = 39.2 years) completed self-report measures of social constraints, avoidance, and general and cancer-specific distress. Results: Multiple regression analyses revealed that social constraints were significantly related to both cancer-specific and general distress and that avoidance partially mediated the relation between social constraints and both types of distress. Conclusions: Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by research and training grants from the National Cancer Institute (CA87021, CA81137, CA72457) and the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (DAMD 17–99–1–9303). The content of the information contained in this article does not necessarily reflect the position or policy of the U.S. Government.


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