Perceived partner support and psychosexual adjustment to breast cancer

Sarah Wimberly Kinsinger, Jean Philippe Laurenceau, Charles S. Carver, Michael H. Antoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Support from a partner can play a key role in a woman's emotional adjustment to breast cancer. However, little is known about the influence of partner behaviours on a woman's sexual adjustment. This study examined the prospective relationship between baseline levels of several types of perceived partner support (instrumental, informational, emotional and negative) and psychosexual adjustment (sexual functioning and relationship satisfaction) over the course of 12 months post-surgery in a sample of 130 women with breast cancer. Results indicated that perceptions of greater emotional and informational support from the partner at baseline were associated with less sexual difficulties among breast cancer patients concurrently and 6 months post-surgery. Baseline perceptions of greater emotional and instrumental support from a partner were associated with greater relationship satisfaction at all time points. Perceptions of informational support at baseline were related to greater concurrent relationship satisfaction. Baseline perceptions of negative partner support were related to less relationship satisfaction, but only concurrently. These findings suggest that the perception of a partner's provision of emotional, instrumental and informational support may each play a role in facilitating sexual adjustment and relationship satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1571-1588
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • breast cancer
  • relationship satisfaction
  • sexual functioning
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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