The Yellow Brick Road and the Emerald City: Benefit Finding, Positive Reappraisal Coping and Posttraumatic Growth in Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Health Psychol. 2003 Sep;22(5):487-97. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.22.5.487.


Predictors and outcomes of benefit finding, positive reappraisal coping, and posttraumatic growth were examined using interviews and questionnaires from a longitudinal study of women with early-stage breast cancer followed from primary medical treatment completion to 3 (n=92) and 12 months (n=60) later. Most women (83%) reported at least 1 benefit of their breast cancer experience. Benefit finding (i.e., identification of benefits, number of benefits), positive reappraisal coping, and posttraumatic growth had distinct significant predictors. Positive reappraisal coping at study entry predicted positive mood and perceived health at 3 and 12 months and posttraumatic growth at 12 months, whereas benefit finding did not predict any outcome. Findings suggest that benefit finding, positive reappraisal coping, and posttraumatic growth are related, but distinct, constructs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Life Change Events*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • Personality
  • Quality of Life
  • Social Support
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States