Language Style Matching as a Predictor of Successful Coping in Breast Cancer Patients and Their Partners
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractPast research has shown that the use of function words--such as pronouns--in Language Style Matching accurately predicts relationship satisfaction and success. The current study on breast cancer patients focuses on two main hypotheses. First, we predicted that LSM would correlate positively with relationship satisfaction and this correlation would be unique to the patient-partner relationship. Second, it follows that LSM would positively correlate with successful use of coping mechanisms for breast cancer patients and their partners. We operationalized coping through two questionnaires, the dyadic adjustment scale (DAS) and the center for epidemiological studies depression scale (CES-D), assessed longitudinally. The linguistic inquiry word count program (LIWC) software measured LSM by counting function words obtained by the objective sound clips recorded by an electronically activated recorder (EAR). Cancer patients and their partners exhibited high LSM and overall variance was low (.001) within couples (.002) and between friends and family (.061). Personal pronouns correlate with overall satisfaction as reported by partners. Conversely, LSM within couples did not predict depression in partners or patients. Results suggest that in the matter of cancer patients and their partners’ self reported adjustment LSM does not significantly matter.
Degree ProgramHonors College