Broadening the cancer and cognition landscape: the role of self-regulatory challenges


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Abstract

Background:The potentially detrimental effects of cancer and related treatments on cognitive functioning have emerged as one of the key foci of cancer survivorship research, but little is known about how psychological variables other than depression influence these relationships. To illustrate the potential of social psychological perspectives, we examine how a self-regulatory analysis and specific self-regulatory challenges of contending with cancer-related expectancies and stereotypes provide conceptual frameworks for understanding some of the potential causes and consequences of cancer-related cognitive deficits.Methods:Literatures on cancer-related cognitive deficits, self-regulatory ego depletion, expectancy stereotypes, and their points of convergence are briefly reviewed.Results:A review and conceptual integration of relevant literatures suggest that coping with cancer can impair self-regulatory capacity. There is an overlap between cognitive deficits associated with self-regulatory challenge and with cancer and its treatment, and restoring self-regulatory resources can attenuate cancer-related cognitive deficits. Examination of specific regulatory challenges of contending with expectancies and stereotypes related to treatment suggests insights that can inform when and among whom cognitive deficits may most likely emerge.Conclusions:Integrating social psychological ideas with a substantial knowledge base can illustrate novel research trajectories that can deepen our understanding of cancer-related cognitive deficits and their impact on psychosocial well-being.Broadening the cancer and cognition landscape: the role of self-regulatory challenges Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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