Predictors of relationship adjustment among couples coping with a high risk of developing breast/ovarian cancer

Kaaren Jane Watts, Kerry Anne Sherman, Shab Mireskandari, Bettina Meiser, Alan Taylor, Katherine Tucker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigated the association between supportive and collaborative processes and dyadic adjustment in 94 women at increased risk of breast/ovarian cancer and their partners. Participants were recruited through two familial cancer clinics. They completed mailed, self-report questionnaires that included measures of psychological distress, dyadic adjustment (consensus, cohesion and satisfaction) and couple predictor variables (perceived support and team approach). Most couples reported average-to-high levels of consensus, cohesion and satisfaction, with a small proportion of couples (6.4%) reporting scores that reached clinically significant levels of dyadic distress. Greater perceived support was associated with better dyadic consensus and satisfaction, and dyadic cohesion and satisfaction were higher among couples who reported greater use of a team approach. General distress did not moderate the association between dyadic coping and relationship quality. There were no significant relationships between intra-couple congruence on support or team approach, and dyadic adjustment. Most couples had a functional relationship in the face of the current health stressor, although a subgroup may be at elevated risk of negative psychological consequences, including further relationship strain. The results highlight that dyadic coping strategies are important factors involved in the quality of couples' relationship following genetic counselling for breast/ovarian cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-39
Number of pages19
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2011

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Predictors of relationship adjustment among couples coping with a high risk of developing breast/ovarian cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this