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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Do coping strategies mediate the effects of emotional support on emotional well-being among Spanish-speaking Latina breast cancer survivors?


This study aimed to assess the relationship between emotional social support and emotional well-being among Latina immigrants with breast cancer and test whether two culturally relevant coping strategies, fatalism and acceptance, mediate this relationship.

One hundred fifty Spanish-speaking Latinas within 1 year of breast cancer diagnosis participating in a randomized trial of a stress management intervention were assessed in person at baseline and via telephone 6 months later. Survey measures included baseline emotional support, fatalism, and acceptance and emotional well-being 6 months later. Generalized linear models estimated direct effects of emotional support on emotional well-being and indirect effects through fatalism and acceptance.

Mean age was 50.1 (SD = 10.9) years; most women had low education and acculturation levels. Emotional support was negatively associated with fatalism (r = -0.24, p < 0.01) and positively associated with acceptance (r = 0.30, p < 0.001). Emotional support (r = 0.23, p = 0.005) and acceptance (r = 0.28, p = 0.001) were positively associated with emotional well-being, whereas fatalism (r = -0.36, p < 0.0001) was negatively associated with emotional well-being. In multivariable models, emotional support was associated with emotional well-being (b = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.24, 1.52). This direct effect remained significant when additionally controlling for fatalism (b = 0.66, 95% CI: 0.03, 1.30) and acceptance (b = 0.73, 95% CI: 0.09, 1.37) in separate models. There was a significant indirect effect of emotional support on emotional well-being through fatalism (b = 0.21, 95% CI: 0.04, 0.51) as well as a marginally significant effect through acceptance (b = 0.15, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.43).

Emotional support may increase well-being among Spanish-speaking Latina cancer survivors by reducing cancer fatalism. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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