Stress responses and psychological adjustment in patients with cancer and their spouses

Sydney Ey, Bruce E. Compas, Joanne E. Epping-Jordan, Nancy Worsham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


The relationship between husbands' and wives' individual stress responses (intrusive thoughts and avoidance) and symptoms of anxiety and depression was examined shortly after diagnosis in a sample of 58 patients with cancer (43 women, 15 men) and their spouses. Marital partners' symptoms of anxiety or depression were positively correlated with one another's symptoms; however, the patients' and spouses' intrusive thoughts and avoidance were not correlated. The male patients' avoidance was positively correlated with their wives' anxiety or depression. In regression analyses, patients' avoidance uniquely predicted greater distress in both male and female patients. Male patients' avoidance also uniquely predicted greater distress in their wives. No significant interactions were found between patients' and spouses' avoidance in predicting distress in either partner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-77
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Psychosocial Oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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