Table 2.

Empirical studies examining the role of emotion regulation as related to breast cancer screening behavior

Author(s)YearOperationalization of emotion regulationSample characteristicsMajor findings/conclusion regarding emotion regulation
Caplan et al.1996Denial: undermining the importance and urgency of the problem; the concept includes lack of concern, feeling that it would go away, misdiagnosing oneself with a less severe disease, and uncertainty about actual symptoms367 breast cancer patients (161 Whites, 206 Blacks; 48% between 20 and 49 yr)Denial causes symptomatic women to delay breast cancer screenings.
Chaitchik and Kreitler1991Repression: a combination of social desirability and anxiety scales; scales not described and no psychometrics given466 women (210 nonattenders, 210 self-referred screeners, 46 in experimental/induced sample)Attenders scored higher on repressiveness than nonattenders.
Consedine et al.2004Repression: the Index of Self-Regulation (Mendolia, 2002) combines the Crowne-Marlowe Social Desirability Scale (α = .73) and the Anxiety subscale of the STPI (α = .75) to generate a continuous measure of repression1364 women from six ethnic groups (mean age, 53.9 yr)Greater repression associated with greater self-reported mammography and breast self-examination even where background characteristics were controlled.
Kreitler et al.1990Repression: a combination of social desirability and anxiety scales; scales not described and no psychometrics given420 women (control: mean age, 40.5 yr; experimental: mean age, 40.9 yr; 63–65.7% Israeli, 20.5–22.4% Middle Eastern or North African, rest unknown)Attenders scored higher on repressiveness than nonattenders.
Kreitler et al.1994Ability to face problems realistically: derived from coding of structured interview and meanings tasks619 women from factories, kibbutzim, banks, cities, and university (mean age, 40.67 yr)Women who screened had more readiness to face problems realistically.
Powell1994Review articleReview articleDenial causes symptomatic women to delay breast cancer screenings.
Styra et al.1993Denial: unpublished problem-solving inventory, structured interview format; no psychometrics100 women (mean age, 40.7 yr)Symptomatic women who did not identify their lump as a concern used denial and avoidance as coping mechanisms.