Investigating the Predictive Validity of the Self-Blame Attributions for Cancer Scale in Patients with Head and Neck and Lung Cancer
Metadata[+] Show full item record
Stressful life events, such as receiving a diagnosis of head/neck (HNC) or lung cancer, necessarily mobilizes people’s adjustment processes and resources. Creating a causal attribution for the event is an important step of this process, and one type of attribution is self-blame. Researchers have categorized self-blame based on the tendency to blame one’s behaviors (behavioral self-blame; BSB) or dispositional character (characterological self-blame; CSB). In addition, these subtypes are predicted to differentially impact outcomes, with BSB leading to positive outcomes and CSB leading to negative. However, studies testing these predictions have found varying effects of BSB and CSB. One anticipated explanation for these mixed findings is the measurement tools used for assessing self-blame. That is, prior studies have relied almost exclusively on single-items or measures with poor psychometric properties to capture this complex construct. In response to this criticism, the Self-Blame Attributions for Cancer scale (SBAC) was developed and psychometrically analyzed, with results evidencing good internal consistency, convergent validity, and discriminant validity. The purpose of this project was to examine the predictive validity of this scale in patients with HNC and lung cancer. An additional goal was to investigate the mediating role of control appraisals, or the extent to which patients perceive their cancer diagnosis as controllable. Participants (N = 120) were approached who enrolled in radiation and medical oncology clinics within six months of receiving a diagnosis of HNC or lung cancer. Self-report questionnaire packets were administered on the day of enrollment (Time 1) and again six weeks later (Time 2). Results showed that BSB was positively and cross-sectionally related to tobacco use, and CSB was positively and cross-sectionally related to depressive symptoms, avoidant coping strategies, and alcohol use. Longitudinally, neither BSB nor CSB was significantly related to Time 2 health outcomes, adjusting for covariates and Time 1 levels of the outcome variables. In addition, control appraisals did not mediate the relationships between either type of self-blame and health outcomes at six-week follow-up. The theoretical and clinical implications for providers working in oncology settings are discussed.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Appendix A. Measures
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)