Psychosocial experiences of breast cancer survivors involved in a dragon boat program: exploring links to positive psychological growth

J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2007 Aug;29(4):419-38. doi: 10.1123/jsep.29.4.419.


This study explored psychosocial experiences of breast cancer survivors involved in dragon boat programs. Twenty women (M(age) = 58.69, SD = 6.85) were interviewed for 45-60 min about their experiences as members of survivor dragon boat teams. Interviews were analyzed using constructivist grounded theory methods. The dragon boat program facilitated social support from women with common challenges and a shared understanding of survivorship. It also provided opportunities to (re)gain a sense of personal control, develop new identities as athletes, and overcome physical challenges. Together these elements contributed to positive psychological growth and linked to the literature on posttraumatic growth. Future physical activity interventions targeting breast cancer survivors may benefit from developing strategies that share key characteristics of dragon boating.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Self Concept
  • Self Efficacy
  • Ships
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Support*
  • Sports*
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Stress, Psychological / therapy
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data