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Experiencing a life-threatening illness such as cancer can elicit both negative (e.g., distress) and positive (e.g., growth) psychological responses. The present study sought to determine the correlates of four positive psychological byproducts in cancer survivors: becoming a stronger person, coping better with life's challenges, making positive changes in life, and adopting healthier habits.
Data for this cross-sectional study were taken from the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey (MEPS) Experiences with Cancer Survivorship Supplement (Yabroff et al., 2012). Cancer survivors (N = 785) reported their sociodemographic and cancer-related characteristics. Descriptive statistics were utilized to summarize cancer survivor characteristics, including demographic factors, cancer factors, and stressors and resources related to cancer. Multivariable logistic regressions were employed to assess the independent association of the stressors and resources with each psychological response, controlling for covariates. All analyses were weighted to account for the complex sampling design of the MEPS.
In multivariable analyses, those with a family caregiver were 50% more likely to report better coping with challenges, and around 70% were more likely to report making positive changes in life or adopting healthier habits because of their cancer. Receiving informational support from healthcare providers was also consistently associated with positive byproducts (odds ratios ranging from 1.6 to 2.0). Few of the stressors were associated with positive byproducts: having insurance problems due to cancer was positively associated with becoming a stronger person, and work limitations were associated with making positive changes in life; those who reported high perceived chances of recurrence were less likely to report becoming a stronger person.
Significance of Results:
Having a family caregiver and receiving detailed informational support from healthcare providers were associated with reporting positive experiences with cancer. The hypotheses and future research stimulated by these findings may improve our understanding of the process by which positive byproducts develop and may ultimately help improve psychological well-being among cancer survivors.
Given that accurate person perception is a skill associated with a host of positive interpersonal and applied outcomes, a logical extension is to seek to improve the skill. Training person perception involves attempts to improve accuracy of judgments of others’ emotions, personality traits, status, and intentions. There is a rich history of training person perception accuracy dating back to Floyd Henry Allport and Arthur Jenness in the 1920s and 1930s. This chapter describes the history of training person perception accuracy and then summarizes a recent meta-analysis, including how training domains and approaches moderate training efficacy. The potential benefits of training and current training research in the applied areas of medicine, law enforcement, and consumer services are presented. Finally, future research needs are proposed to build the evidence base in person perception training and apply these training efforts in real-world contexts by (1) further establishing the benefits of training in applied contexts, (2) developing effective trainings, (3) optimizing training efficacy, and (4) disseminating, implementing, and evaluating training programs.
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