PERSONALITY AND COPING AMONG WOMEN SURVIVORS OF BREAST CANCER

AGNES DEL ROSARIO-CRISOSTOMO
Ph.D Psychology (2009)
Department of Psychology


This is a quantitative-qualitative research which aims to investigate the relationship of personality factors and coping behaviors among women who have survived breast cancer. Likewise, socio-demographic variables, changes in their lifestyles, including marital and family changes are factors which were investigated, for these are all vital areas of a survivor’s life.


The general problem of the study is to identify the relationship of the selected personality factors (Optimism, Attribution, Pagkamahinahon, Pagkamatiyaga and Pagkaresponsable) with the Coping behaviors adopted by the breast cancer survivors. Participants were 47 breast cancer survivors who were all members of the Breast Care Center Support Group of the Philippine General Hospital. Standardized instruments as well as interviews were used as means of gathering data. Correlation analysis was used to determine the extent of relationship among the specified variables as well as content analysis for the Qualitative Part.


Data revealed that the 47 women are always optimistic about the future and most of them believed it is their lifestyle which has caused them their cancer, followed by accidental injury. On the changes on relationship experienced by the survivors, most of them said that their spouses had been very supportive mainly on the emotional aspect. On Problem-focused Coping the higher percentage was recorded on Planning which says “pinag-isipan kong mabuti kung ano ang dapat kong gawin sa nangyari”, while On Emotion-Focused Coping, the highest score was recorded by the Turning to Religion item “ipinagkatiwala ko na sa Dyos ang lahat. This only shows that among Filipinas, their faith proved to be very important in their coping regardless of the type of personality that they possess.


Educational Attainment is found to be correlated with Instrumental Support and Restraint Coping. Civil Status is correlated with Active Coping. Income proves to correlate with most Coping Behaviors such as Suppression of Competing Activities, Instrumental Support, Emotional Support, Positive Coping, Denial, Acceptance and Religion. The number of children of the respondents correlates with Active coping while the number of years that they have been survivors of cancer was correlated with Planning.


In the present age when one’s health becomes the main focus of concern, one obvious direction seen for this research is the examination of its predictive utility in the field of health such as devising an intervention program which can help cancer survivors influence their subsequent coping, prolong their survival and eventually live a higher quality of life.