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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Fear Of Cancer Recurrence Among Black And White Mothers

  • Author(s): Acheampong, Rechael;
  • Bergman, Katelynn;
  • Sweeny, Kate;
  • Wilson, Melissa
  • et al.

Fear of cancer recurrence (FCR), often defined as fear, worry, or concern related to the possibility that cancer may return or progress, is frequently expressed by breast cancer survivors. Previous research on breast cancer survivors suggests that mothers tend to report greater FCR than non-mothers and that FCR differs by ethnicity. This existing body of research often treats motherhood and race as separate entities by which to examine levels of FCR. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the differences in FCR between Black and White mothers. Breast cancer survivors were recruited using Amazon’s MTurk service (n =138) and were asked to respond to self-report questionnaires regarding FCR and demographic information. An independent t-test revealed that black mothers (n = 37, M = 3.94, SD = 0.58) tended to report greater FCR levels than White mothers (n = 54, M = 3.54, SD = 0.92; t(88.46) = -2.55, p = 0.01). Our findings provide initial support for differences in FCR among mothers of different races. Potential explanations for the observed differences are discussed. Further research is needed to identify the causes of differences in FCR levels among Black and White mothers in order to craft informed interventions for these populations.

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