Facets of spirituality as predictors of adjustment to cancer: Relative contributions of having faith and finding meaning

Yanez, Betina; Edmondson, Donald E.; Stanton, Annette L.; Park, Crystal L.; Kwan, Lorna; Ganz, Patricia A.; Blank, Thomas O.

Spirituality is a multidimensional construct, and little is known about how its distinct dimensions jointly affect well-being. In longitudinal studies (Study 1, n = 418 breast cancer patients; Study 2, n = 165 cancer survivors), the authors examined 2 components of spiritual well-being (i.e., meaning/peace and faith) and their interaction, as well as change scores on those variables, as predictors of psychological adjustment. In Study 1, higher baseline meaning/peace, as well as an increase in meaning/peace over 6 months, predicted a decline in depressive symptoms and an increase in vitality across 12 months in breast cancer patients. Baseline faith predicted an increase in perceived cancer-related growth. Study 2 revealed that an increase in meaning/peace was related to improved mental health and lower cancer-related distress. An increase in faith was related to increased cancer-related growth. Both studies revealed significant interactions between meaning/peace and faith in predicting adjustment. Findings suggest that the ability to find meaning and peace in life is the more influential contributor to favorable adjustment during cancer survivorship, although faith appears to be uniquely related to perceived cancer-related growth.


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Also Published In

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

More About This Work

Academic Units
Center for Behavioral Cardiovascular Health
American Psychological Association
Published Here
July 10, 2016