Optimism, perceived risk of breast cancer, and cancer worry among a community-based sample of women

Bonnie A. McGregor, Deborah J. Bowen, Donna P. Ankerst, M. Robyn Andersen, Yutaka Yasui, Anne McTiernan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

Optimism is frequently inversely associated with distress; however, less is known about the mechanisms underlying this relationship. Optimism can be defined as having a generalized positive expectancy about the future. The authors hypothesized that a specific expectancy might mediate the relationship between optimism and distress. That model was tested using perceived risk of breast cancer as a specific measure of expectancy and cancer worry as a measure of distress in a community-based sample of 1,366 women. It was hypothesized that optimism would be inversely associated with cancer worry and that perceived risk of breast cancer would mediate the relationship between optimism and cancer worry. Multiple regression analyses revealed that perceived risk partially mediated the relationship between optimism and cancer worry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-344
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Psychology
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer worry
  • Dispositional optimism
  • Perceived risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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