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September 2021

Active engagement, protective buffering, and overprotection: Three ways of giving support by intimate partners of patients with cancer

Author(s): Ybema, J. F., Buunk, B. P., DeJong, G. M., ThijsBoer, F., Sanderman, R.

Journal/Book: J Soc Clin Psychol. 2000; 19: 72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012, USA. Guilford Publications Inc. 256-275.

Abstract: In the present study, possible determinants and effects of three different styles of giving support by healthy partners of patients with cancer were examined. Both partners' and patients' perceptions regarding these ways of providing support by healthy partners were studied. A survey was conducted among 106 patients with cancer and their intimate partners. Both healthy partners' evaluation of the patient's coping and their self-efficacy in providing support was related to the ways in which support was provided by partners. Partners who thought the patient was coping better with the cancer showed more active engagement and less overprotection. Partners high in self-efficacy showed more active engagement, whereas partners who lacked this self-efficacy showed more protective buffering. Furthermore, the way in which support was given was related to the patients' well-being and relationship satisfaction. Patients with cancer reported more distress and less feelings of control when their partners were more overprotective. Moreover, patients evaluated the relationship with their partner more positively when their partners were more actively engaged. In turn, patients' distress was positively related to the extent to which partners said they showed active engagement.

Note: Article Kuijer RG, Univ Utrecht, Fac Social Sci, Dept Hlth Psychol, Heidelberglaan 1, NL-3584 CS Utrecht, NETHERLANDS


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