Publication Abstract

Authors: Taber JM, Klein WM, Ferrer RA, Kent EE, Harris PR

Title: Optimism and Spontaneous Self-affirmation are Associated with Lower Likelihood of Cognitive Impairment and Greater Positive Affect among Cancer Survivors.

Journal: Ann Behav Med 50(2):198-209

Date: 2016 Apr

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Optimism and self-affirmation promote adaptive coping, goal achievement, and better health. PURPOSE: The aim of this study is to examine the associations of optimism and spontaneous self-affirmation (SSA) with physical, mental, and cognitive health and information seeking among cancer survivors. METHODS: Cancer survivors (nā€‰=ā€‰326) completed the Health Information National Trends Survey 2013, a national survey of US adults. Participants reported optimism, SSA, cognitive and physical impairment, affect, health status, and information seeking. RESULTS: Participants higher in optimism reported better health on nearly all indices examined, even when controlling for SSA. Participants higher in SSA reported lower likelihood of cognitive impairment, greater happiness and hopefulness, and greater likelihood of cancer information seeking. SSA remained significantly associated with greater hopefulness and cancer information seeking when controlling for optimism. CONCLUSIONS: Optimism and SSA may be associated with beneficial health-related outcomes among cancer survivors. Given the demonstrated malleability of self-affirmation, these findings represent important avenues for future research.