Posttraumatic growth after breast cancer: Patient, partner, and couple perspectives

Sharon Manne, Jamie Ostroff, Gary Winkel, Lori Goldstein, Kevin Fox, Generosa Grana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

336 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate posttraumatic growth among breast cancer patients and their significant others over a 11/2-year time span after diagnosis and to examine cognitive and emotional processes in posttraumatic growth. Methods: One hundred sixty-two women with breast cancer and their partners completed surveys assessing posttraumatic growth, cognitive and emotional processing, and marital satisfaction at 3 time points spaced 9 months apart. Results: Posttraumatic growth increased for both partners during this period. Patient posttraumatic growth was predicted by younger age, contemplating reasons for cancer, and more emotional expression at time 1. Partner posttraumatic growth was predicted by younger age, more intrusive thoughts, and greater use of positive reappraisal and emotional processing at time 1. Conclusion: Posttraumatic growth is reported by patients and by significant others. Cognitive and emotional processes predict growth. Patient growth is associated with the significant other's cognitive and emotional processing of breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-454
Number of pages13
JournalPsychosomatic Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


  • Affective processing
  • Breast cancer
  • Cognitive processing
  • Couples
  • Posttraumatic growth


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