Carver, C. S., Smith, R. G., Antoni, M. H., Petronis, V. M., Weiss, S., & Derhagopian, R. P. (2005). Optimistic personality and psychosocial well-being during treatment predict psychosocial well-being among long-term survivors of breast cancer. Health Psychology, 24, 508-516.

In considering well-being among survivors of life-threatening illnesses such as breast cancer, two important questions are whether there is continuity between initial adjustment and longer-term adjustment and what role personality plays in long-term adjustment. In this research a sample of 163 early-stage breast cancer patients whose psychosocial adjustment was first assessed during the year after surgery completed the same measures 5 to 13 years after surgery. Initial reports of well-being were relatively strong predictors of follow-up well-being on the same measures. Initial optimism and marital status also predicted follow-up adjustment, even controlling for earlier adjustment, which exerted a substantial unique effect in multivariate analyses. In contrast, initial medical variables played virtually no predictive role. There is substantial continuity of subjective well-being across many years among survivors of breast cancer, rooted partly in personality and social connection.

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University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology