Attachment styles in patients with lung cancer and their spouses: associations with patient and spouse adjustment.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

PURPOSE: This study examined attachment styles in patients with lung cancer and their spouses and associations between attachment styles and patient and spouse adjustment. METHODS: One hundred twenty-seven patients with early stage lung cancer completed measures of attachment style, marital quality, self-efficacy, pain, depression, anxiety, and quality of life. Their spouses completed measures of attachment style, marital quality, self-efficacy, caregiver strain, and mood. RESULTS: Analyses indicated that, among patients, those high in either attachment anxiety or avoidance had significantly higher levels of anxiety and poorer social well-being. Attachment avoidance was also significantly associated with higher levels of depression and poorer marital quality and functional well-being. Spouse avoidant attachment was significantly associated with patient reports of increased pain and poorer functional well-being, and spouse anxious attachment was associated with poorer patient marital quality. Among spouses, those high in attachment avoidance reported significantly higher levels of caregiver strain, anger, depressed mood, and poorer marital quality; those high in attachment anxiety reported higher anxious mood. Dyads in which both partners were insecurely attached had significantly poorer adjustment compared to dyads in which both partners reported secure attachment. CONCLUSIONS: These preliminary findings raise the possibility that attachment styles of cancer patients and their spouses as individuals and as a dyad may be important factors affecting adjustment in multiple domains.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Porter, LS; Keefe, FJ; Davis, D; Rumble, M; Scipio, C; Garst, J

Published Date

  • October 2012

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 10

Start / End Page

  • 2459 - 2466

PubMed ID

  • 22246596

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC3753069

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1433-7339

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00520-011-1367-6


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Germany