Transitions in coping profiles after breast cancer diagnosis: implications for depressive and physical symptoms

Jacqueline H.J. Kim, Emma E. Bright, Timothy J. Williamson, Jennifer L. Krull, Karen L. Weihs, Annette L. Stanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to determine whether: (a) cancer-related coping profiles change across time; (b) coping profile transition types predict changes in depressive and physical symptoms. Latent transition analysis was conducted with repeated measures of seven cancer-related coping processes from 460 women recently diagnosed with breast cancer. In multilevel models, coping profile transition groups were entered as predictors of symptoms across 12 months. Three coping profiles emerged at study entry, with two profiles at later assessments. Forty-eight percent of women maintained high-moderate approach-oriented coping over time. Specific factors (e.g., age, acceptance of emotions) differentiated the transition groups. Women who increased and then maintained high-moderate approach-oriented coping had relatively high initial depressive symptoms that declined steeply. When cancer-related acceptance predominated, women experienced increasing physical symptoms. Distinct cancer-related coping patterns are related to the level of and change in depressive and physical symptoms longitudinally. Early intervention to increase approach-oriented coping strategies could yield favorable outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Cancer
  • Coping
  • Depression
  • Physical symptoms
  • Profiles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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