Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2016

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Social Work

Additional Affiliations

Brown School of Social Work

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



This mixed methods study investigated social support in African American breast cancer patients in one Midwestern metropolitan area. The study includes a quantitative analysis of social support in 227 African American breast cancer patients participating in a quality of life study, as well as a qualitative component involving a subsample of 15 married participants. In the larger sample, growth curve models were used to assess factors contributing to initial levels of perceived social support and change in social support over time. Interviews with women in the qualitative study allowed an in-depth exploration of how breast cancer affected womens relationships with their partners. Results from both parts of the study show that there is variability in womens and couples adaptation to breast cancer. Clinicians should consider breast cancer patients psychosocial context and provide interventions for women with low levels of social support or women who experience declines in support.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Melissa Jonson-Reid

Committee Members

Sarah Gehlert, Darrell Hudson, Joshua Jackson, Donna Jeffe,


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7P26WF0