Factors associated with romantic relationship formation difficulties in women with breast cancer

L. K. Shaw, K. A. Sherman, J. Fitness, E. Elder, Breast Cancer Network Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Many un-partnered women report difficulty in forming romantic relationships after breast cancer, characterized by high dating-related anxiety and low perceived interpersonal competence. This study examined the relationship between poor body image (appearance investment and body dissatisfaction) and self-compassion, and women's ability to form romantic relationships post-breast cancer. Methods: Women (N = 152) diagnosed with breast cancer, who were either un-partnered and expressed interest in romantic dating, or who had commenced a relationship post-diagnosis, completed an online survey. Assessments included the Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire, Dating Anxiety Scale, Self-compassion Scale, Appearance Schemas Inventory-Revised, Body Image Scale, and Experiences in Close Relationships Scale. Multiple regression analyses assessed the relationships between these variables. Results: Partnered and un-partnered women differed in levels of dating anxiety, interpersonal competence, anxious attachment, and the self-evaluative salience facet of appearance investment. Analyses revealed a significant model for dating anxiety, with high self-evaluative salience, body image dissatisfaction, and attachment avoidance independently associated with this outcome. The model for interpersonal competence was also significant, with low attachment avoidance and high self-compassion independently associated with this outcome. Conclusions: Un-partnered women who place high importance on appearance for their self-worth and who report poor body image and low self-compassion are at risk of experiencing difficulties in forming new romantic relationships after breast cancer. Future interventions should target these variables to facilitate romantic dating during cancer survivorship.

LanguageEnglish
Pages1270-1276
Number of pages7
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

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Body Image
Mental Competency
Breast Neoplasms
Anxiety
Aptitude
Survival Rate
Regression Analysis
Equipment and Supplies
Neoplasms
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • body image
  • breast cancer
  • dating
  • relationships
  • self-compassion

Cite this

Shaw, L. K. ; Sherman, K. A. ; Fitness, J. ; Elder, E. ; Breast Cancer Network Australia. / Factors associated with romantic relationship formation difficulties in women with breast cancer. In: Psycho-Oncology. 2018 ; Vol. 27, No. 4. pp. 1270-1276.
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abstract = "Objective: Many un-partnered women report difficulty in forming romantic relationships after breast cancer, characterized by high dating-related anxiety and low perceived interpersonal competence. This study examined the relationship between poor body image (appearance investment and body dissatisfaction) and self-compassion, and women's ability to form romantic relationships post-breast cancer. Methods: Women (N = 152) diagnosed with breast cancer, who were either un-partnered and expressed interest in romantic dating, or who had commenced a relationship post-diagnosis, completed an online survey. Assessments included the Interpersonal Competence Questionnaire, Dating Anxiety Scale, Self-compassion Scale, Appearance Schemas Inventory-Revised, Body Image Scale, and Experiences in Close Relationships Scale. Multiple regression analyses assessed the relationships between these variables. Results: Partnered and un-partnered women differed in levels of dating anxiety, interpersonal competence, anxious attachment, and the self-evaluative salience facet of appearance investment. Analyses revealed a significant model for dating anxiety, with high self-evaluative salience, body image dissatisfaction, and attachment avoidance independently associated with this outcome. The model for interpersonal competence was also significant, with low attachment avoidance and high self-compassion independently associated with this outcome. Conclusions: Un-partnered women who place high importance on appearance for their self-worth and who report poor body image and low self-compassion are at risk of experiencing difficulties in forming new romantic relationships after breast cancer. Future interventions should target these variables to facilitate romantic dating during cancer survivorship.",
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Factors associated with romantic relationship formation difficulties in women with breast cancer. / Shaw, L. K.; Sherman, K. A.; Fitness, J.; Elder, E.; Breast Cancer Network Australia.

In: Psycho-Oncology, Vol. 27, No. 4, 04.2018, p. 1270-1276.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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