Coping through emotional processing (EP) with cancer-related circumstances can take several forms, including methods thought to be constructive (e.g., planning, meaning making) and unconstructive (e.g., rumination). These forms can have differential relationships with experiences of stress. Associations of coping through constructive and unconstructive EP in expressive writing with salivary stress biomarkers were examined among young adult testicular cancer survivors. Constructive processing was significantly associated with less overall daily cortisol output and smaller salivary alpha-amylase awakening response; unconstructive processing was also associated with lower daily cortisol output. These preliminary results from this exploratory study inform future research associating emotion-regulation coping and biological stress reactivity.
Keywords: alpha amylase; coping; cortisol; emotional processing; testicular cancer; young adult.