Religiosity and health locus of control as predictors of depression and anxiety in women with breast cancer

Kori Robin Meyers, Fordham University

Abstract

The present study explored the relationships of religiosity and health locus of control with depression and anxiety in women 3 months post breast cancer surgery. Overall findings based on previous research indicate that breast cancer patients face numerous stressors and are at high risk for depression and anxiety. The purposes of this study were: (a) to assess the relationship between intrinsic and extrinsic religiosity and depression and anxiety in women 3 months post breast cancer surgery; (b) to assess the relationship between internal and external health locus of control and depression and anxiety in women 3 months post breast cancer surgery; and (c) to examine whether, while controlling for social support, these variables interact to significantly predict depression and anxiety in women 3 months post breast cancer surgery. ^ The participants were 50 women 3 months post breast cancer surgery. Religiosity was assessed according to the Systems of Belief Inventory-15 (Kash, Holland, Passik, Lederberg, & Sison, 1995). The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control scales (K. A. Wallston, Wallston, & DeVellis, 1978) were used to measure internal locus of control, chance locus of control, and powerful others locus of control. The Social Support Questionnaire (I. G. Sarason, Levine, Basham, & Sarason, 1983) described perceived social support. The Beck Depression Inventory-II (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 1996) assessed symptoms of depression and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (Spielberger, Gorsuch, Lushene, Vagg, & Jacobs, 1983) measured symptoms of anxiety. ^ Findings indicated a negative relationship between intrinsic religiosity and depression and anxiety. Results also indicated a negative relationship between extrinsic religiosity and depression. No significant relationship was found between extrinsic religiosity and anxiety. Significant negative associations were found between internal health locus of control and depression and anxiety. A significant negative correlation was also found between powerful others locus of control and anxiety. No significant relationships were found between powerful others locus of control and depression and chance locus of control and depression and anxiety. Social support contributed the most variance in predicting depression and anxiety and neither religiosity, health locus of control, nor interaction variables contributing significantly. ^ The results of this study suggested that religiosity and health locus of control, as well as social support, were significantly associated with depression and anxiety in women 3 months post breast cancer surgery. Social support and extrinsic religiosity contributed significant variance in the regression predicting depression, and social support contributed a significant amount of variance in anxiety. Findings also suggested that both race and income level warrant further investigation of their relationships to religiosity and subsequent psychological adjustment to breast cancer surgery. ^

Subject Area

Women's Studies|Psychology, Clinical|Health Sciences, Oncology

Recommended Citation

Kori Robin Meyers, "Religiosity and health locus of control as predictors of depression and anxiety in women with breast cancer" (January 1, 2002). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3056149.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3056149

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