When peer support may be most beneficial: the relationship between upward comparison and perceived threat

Legg, Melissa and Occhipinti, S. and Ferguson, M. and Dunn, J. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1180-3381 and Chambers, S. K. (2011) When peer support may be most beneficial: the relationship between upward comparison and perceived threat. Psycho-Oncology, 20 (12). pp. 1358-1362. ISSN 1099-1611


Objective: Currently, the mechanism by which dyadic peer support programs may facilitate positive psychological adjustment for cancer patients is unclear. This study utilized social comparison theory to examine the effects of peer support on the psychological adjustment of women with breast cancer. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 251 recently diagnosed breast cancer patients (52% response), who had received a dyadic peer support intervention, was undertaken assessing anxiety, depression, perceived threat, and upward comparison. Results: Perceived cancer threat significantly moderated the relationship between positive upward comparison and depression levels (p = 0.017). Women who engaged in upward comparisons and who perceived their diagnosis to be more threatening had lower depression levels than women who were less threatened. Conclusions: Peer support services that provide support from cancer survivors may be especially beneficial for people who appraise their cancer diagnosis as more threatening. The application of theoretical models to future evaluation designs will further increase understanding of the psychological mechanisms involved in the effects of peer support and inform program development.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 01:49
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2022 02:53
Uncontrolled Keywords: oncology; cancer; peer support; social comparison
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
16 Studies in Human Society > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4299 Other health sciences > 429999 Other health sciences not elsewhere classified
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4409 Social work > 440999 Social work not elsewhere classified
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520399 Clinical and health psychology not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/pon.1862
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/32051

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