Psychology ETDs

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Previous research around the stress-strain-coping-social support (SSCSS) model has shown that the stress of having a family member with alcoholism leads to strain for the family member. This strain is mediated by coping skills and social support. The purpose of this study was to see if the SSCSS model extended to significant others who had a loved one suffering from cancer. There were three aims. The first aim was to determine whether our adapted measures represented the constructs they were meant to describe. The second aim originally was to determine if the SSCSS model was a good fit for those that have a significant other suffering from cancer. The third aim of the study tested rival models that might explain the relationship between our findings better than the SSCSS. Results suggest that the SSCSS model is a good fit for those who have a significant other who has been diagnosed with cancer. The implications of these findings are discussed in the context of chronic illness.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Smith, Bruce

Second Committee Member

Tonigan, J. Scott




Cancer--Patients--Family relationships, Family crises, Social networks, Adjustment (Psychology), Cancer--Social aspects.

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