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Physical Activity and Body Image in Breast Cancer Survivors

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Physical Activity and Body Image in Breast Cancer Survivors
Beckham, Jamie Michelle
With earlier detection and improved treatment techniques for breast cancer, more women are surviving breast cancer only to be presented with the challenge of coping with negative physical and psychological adjustments. One major challenge breast cancer survivors face is a decreased body image. Women who undergo breast cancer surgery report a lower body image when compared to women without breast cancer surgery (Kraus, 1999). Research has shown that physical activity can facilitate better psychological outcomes, including improved body image in college-aged females (Fisher & Thompson, 1994). The present study examined the relationship between physical activity and body image in breast cancer survivors (M age = 63.3, SD = 7.3), as well as the mediational role of secondary variables of interest (body mass index, grip strength, and appearance self-efficacy) in the physical activity-body image relationship. Body image was operationalized as the anxiety an individual experiences when she feels her physique is being evaluated in a negative manner, or social physique anxiety (Hart, Leary, & Rejeski, 1989). Physical activity participation was inversely related to social physique anxiety (SPA; r = -.457, p<.01). However, the examined mechanisms were not significant mediators of the physical activity and social physique anxeity relationship. The relationship between physical activity and social physique anxiety demonstrates the role physical activity may play in decreasing body image disturbances in breast cancer survivors. Further, the physical activity-body image relationship should be an area of concentration in breast cancer survivors in an attempt to help increase breast cancer survivors’ quality of life.
body image
breast cancer
physical activity
jamie_touchberry@alumni.wfu.edu (authorEmail)
Dr. W. Jack Rejeski (committee chair)
Dr. Gary D. Miller (committee member)
Dr. Shannon L. Mihalko (committee member)
Beckham, Jamie Michelle
2008-09-28T10:50:43Z (accessioned)
2010-06-18T18:59:37Z (accessioned)
2004-12-21 (available)
2008-09-28T10:50:43Z (available)
2010-06-18T18:59:37Z (available)
2003-04-10 (issued)
null (defenseDate)
Health & Exercise Science (discipline)
Wake Forest University (grantor)
MS (level)
http://hdl.handle.net/10339/14871 (uri)
etd-05052003-094523 (oldETDId)
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide. (accessRights)
I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to Wake Forest University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. (license)

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