A Multiple Goals Perspective on Topic Avoidance and Relationship Satisfaction in the Context of Breast Cancer

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Using a multiple goals perspective on interpersonal communication as a theoretical framework, this study examined the circumstances under which topic avoidance might predict lower relationship satisfaction among women coping with breast cancer. Results gathered from questionnaire responses of women who had recently undergone treatment for breast cancer (N=140) indicated that the association between topic avoidance and relationship satisfaction was moderated by patients' own reasons for avoidance, and by perceptions of partners' reasons for avoidance. The findings of this study contribute to recent scholarship suggesting the importance of considering the motivations for and interpretations of topic avoidance in order to better understand how patterns of topic avoidance predict relational wellbeing.

Keywords: Cancer; Coping; Marriage; Satisfaction; Topic Avoidance

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03637751003758219

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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