Wimberly, S. R., Carver, C. S., & Antoni, M. H. (2008). Effects of optimism, interpersonal relationships, and distress on psychosexual well-being. Psychology and Health, 23, 57-72.

Support from a partner can play a key role in a woman¹s emotional adjustment to breast cancer. However, little is known about the influence of partner behaviors on a woman¹s sexual adjustment. This study examined the influence of partner support on women¹s psychosexual adjustment to breast cancer during one year following surgery.

Design and Outcome Measures:
This study used hierarchical linear modeling to examine the prospective relationship between baseline levels of several types of partner support (instrumental, informational, emotional, and negative) and psychosexual adjustment (sexual disruption and relationship satisfaction) over the course of 12 months post-surgery in a sample of 130 women with breast cancer.

Perceptions of greater emotional and informational support from the partner was associated with less sexual disruption among breast cancer patients at baseline and 6 months post-surgery. Perceptions of greater emotional and instrumental support from a partner was associated with greater relationship satisfaction at all time points. Perceptions of informational support was related to greater relationship satisfaction at baseline and marginally at 6 months post-surgery. Perceptions of negative partner support was related to less relationship satisfaction, but only at baseline.

These findings suggest that a partner¹s provision of emotional, instrumental, and informational support may each play a role in facilitating sexual adjustment and relationship satisfaction.

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University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology