Social constraints and distress among women at familial risk for breast cancer

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Background:Despite literature finding support for the social cognitive processing model, which suggests that social constraints are related to distress, few studies have examined possible mediators of this effect; none have examined this relation among women with family histories of breast cancer (FH+).Purpose:This study was designed to examine possible effects of social constraints on psychological distress among FH+ women.Methods:Sixty FH+ women (M age = 39.2 years) completed self-report measures of social constraints, avoidance, and general and cancer-specific distress.Results:Multiple regression analyses revealed that social constraints were significantly related to both cancer-specific and general distress and that avoidance partially mediated the relation between social constraints and both types of distress.Conclusions:Theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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