ABSTRACT: Objectives. Diagnosis of and treatment for breast cancer (BCa) may require psychological adaptation and often involve heightened distress. Several types of social support positively relate to psychological adaptation to BCa, and negative support is associated with poorer adaptation. Although Hispanic women report greater distress than non-Hispanic White (NHW) women after diagnosis of BCa, no studies have examined ethnic differences in types of social support received from varying sources after surgery for BCa. Design. Hispanic (N = 61) and NHW (N = 150) women diagnosed with early-stage BCa self-reported emotional, informational, instrumental, and negative support from five sources. Ethnic differences in levels of social support were compared using multiple regression analysis. Results. When controlling for age, income, days since surgery, and stage of disease in multivariable models there were no ethnic differences in levels of emotional support from any source. Hispanic women reported greater informational support from adult women family members and children and male adult family members than did NHW women. Instrumental support from adult women family members was also greater among Hispanic than NHW women. Hispanic women reported higher negative support from husbands/partners and from children and male adult family members. When the number of years in the USA was controlled, Hispanic women showed greater informational support from adult women family members, children and male adult family members, and friends. Instrumental support from adult women family members remained greater in Hispanic women, but negative support no longer differed. Conclusion. Family is a greater source of informational and instrumental support for Hispanic than NHW women. Hispanic women reported higher negative support from male sources than did NHW women. Level of support from different sources may also depend on time spent in the USA. Longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether patterns and sources of social support shift over the course of BCa treatment.
- breast cancer
- social support
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health