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Concurrent and Prospective Associations Between Communicated Emotional Arousal and Adjustment Among Couples Coping With Cancer.

Publication ,  Journal Article
Weber, DM; Baucom, BRW; Baucom, DH; Fischer, MS; Ramos, K; Romano, JM; Porter, LS; Langer, SL
Published in: Ann Behav Med
August 21, 2023

BACKGROUND: The experience of cancer can create considerable emotional distress for patients and their committed partners. How couples communicate about cancer-related concerns can have important implications for adjustment. However, past research has primarily utilized cross-sectional designs and retrospective self-reports of couple communication. While informative, little is known about how patients and partners express emotion during conversations about cancer, and how these emotional patterns predict individual and relational adjustment. PURPOSE: The current investigation examined how patterns of emotional arousal within couples' communication about cancer was associated with concurrent and prospective individual psychological and relational adjustment. METHODS: At baseline, 133 patients with stage II- breast, lung, or colorectal cancer and their partners completed a conversation about a cancer-related concern. Vocally expressed emotional arousal (f0) was extracted from recorded conversations. Couples completed self-report measures of individual psychological and relational adjustment at baseline and at 4, 8, and 12 months later. RESULTS: Couples who started the conversation higher in f0 (i.e., greater emotional arousal) reported better individual and relational adjustment at baseline. If the non-cancer partner had lower f0 relative to patients, this predicted worse individual adjustment across follow-up. Additionally, couples who maintained their level of f0 rather than decreasing later in the conversation reported improvements in individual adjustment across follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: Elevated emotional arousal within a cancer-related conversation may be adaptive for adjustment, as it may reflect greater emotional engagement and processing of an important topic. These results may suggest ways for therapists to guide emotional engagement to enhance resilience in couples experiencing cancer.

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Published In

Ann Behav Med

DOI

EISSN

1532-4796

Publication Date

August 21, 2023

Volume

57

Issue

9

Start / End Page

753 / 764

Location

England

Related Subject Headings

  • Retrospective Studies
  • Public Health
  • Neoplasms
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Humans
  • Emotions
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Arousal
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • 52 Psychology
 

Citation

APA
Chicago
ICMJE
MLA
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Weber, D. M., Baucom, B. R. W., Baucom, D. H., Fischer, M. S., Ramos, K., Romano, J. M., … Langer, S. L. (2023). Concurrent and Prospective Associations Between Communicated Emotional Arousal and Adjustment Among Couples Coping With Cancer. Ann Behav Med, 57(9), 753–764. https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaad017
Weber, Danielle M., Brian R. W. Baucom, Donald H. Baucom, Melanie S. Fischer, Katherine Ramos, Joan M. Romano, Laura S. Porter, and Shelby L. Langer. “Concurrent and Prospective Associations Between Communicated Emotional Arousal and Adjustment Among Couples Coping With Cancer.Ann Behav Med 57, no. 9 (August 21, 2023): 753–64. https://doi.org/10.1093/abm/kaad017.
Weber DM, Baucom BRW, Baucom DH, Fischer MS, Ramos K, Romano JM, et al. Concurrent and Prospective Associations Between Communicated Emotional Arousal and Adjustment Among Couples Coping With Cancer. Ann Behav Med. 2023 Aug 21;57(9):753–64.
Weber, Danielle M., et al. “Concurrent and Prospective Associations Between Communicated Emotional Arousal and Adjustment Among Couples Coping With Cancer.Ann Behav Med, vol. 57, no. 9, Aug. 2023, pp. 753–64. Pubmed, doi:10.1093/abm/kaad017.
Weber DM, Baucom BRW, Baucom DH, Fischer MS, Ramos K, Romano JM, Porter LS, Langer SL. Concurrent and Prospective Associations Between Communicated Emotional Arousal and Adjustment Among Couples Coping With Cancer. Ann Behav Med. 2023 Aug 21;57(9):753–764.
Journal cover image

Published In

Ann Behav Med

DOI

EISSN

1532-4796

Publication Date

August 21, 2023

Volume

57

Issue

9

Start / End Page

753 / 764

Location

England

Related Subject Headings

  • Retrospective Studies
  • Public Health
  • Neoplasms
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Humans
  • Emotions
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Arousal
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • 52 Psychology