Perceived Threat in Daughters of Women with Breast Cancer
Taylor, Nicole Erin
Hoffman, Mary Ann
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The experience of daughters of women with breast cancer has been virtually ignored in the literature. The few studies that do exist on this population have focused on prevention or daughters' short-term psychological concerns. The current study examined the biopsychosocial variables that affected the reactions of 142 adult daughters of women with breast cancer. Data was collected via a web-based survey and analyzed using cluster and correlational analyses. Anxiety, closeness to one's mother, amount of exposure to cancer, intrusive thoughts, predicted likelihood of getting breast cancer, threat, interest in genetic testing, and styles of coping were the variables of interest. The results show clusters that fell into three broad categories: strong negative reactions, strong positive reactions, and daughters who felt more distant from their mother's breast cancer. The current study has implications for families dealing with inheritable diseases, personal threat assessment, and how individuals make medical decisions including genetic testing.