Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

January 2003


African-American women are less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than are White women but are more likely to be adversely affected. Although differences in incidence and mortality have been explored in some depth, little attention has been paid to how these women cope with the disease or whether their appraisal of their breast cancer differs from that of White women. Using a comparative design, this study analyzed the differences in appraisal between African-American and White women with breast cancer. The findings suggest that no differences exist between African-American and White women’s appraisal of their breast cancer. The type of primary appraisal used most by both groups was harm to their health, safety, and physical well-being. The secondary appraisal used most was that breast cancer was an experience they had to accept. Possible links between appraisal and cognitive representations of illness and suggestions for further research on the appraisal are discussed.


Reprinted from Journal of Psychosocial Oncology, Volume 21, Issue 3, 2003, pages 43-61. Publisher URL:


cognitive appraisal, coping, race, breast cancer



Date Posted: 15 December 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.