An exploratory study of social support, distress, and life disruption among low-income hispanic women under treatment for early stage breast cancer

Susan M. Alferi, Charles S. Carver, Michael H. Antoni, Sharlene Weiss, Ron E. Durán

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

130 Scopus citations


Relationships between distress and perceived availability of social support were examined in 51 Hispanic women being treated for early stage breast cancer. Distress and different types (emotional, instrumental) and sources (spouse, women family members, other family members, friends) of support were measured at presurgery, postsurgery, and at 3-, 6-, and 12-month follow-ups. Emotional support from friends and instrumental support from spouse at presurgery predicted lower distress postsurgery. No other prospective benefits of perceived support emerged. Distress at several time points predicted erosion of subsequent support, particularly instrumental support from women in the family. In contrast to the adverse effects of distress (and independent of them), illness-related disruption of recreational and social activities at 6 months elicited greater support at 12 months.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalHealth Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001



  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer
  • Quality of life
  • Social support
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)

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