Coping With Breast Cancer Among Immigrant Chinese Americans

Tuyet Mai Hoang, Lilian J. Shin, Shengmei Xu, Qian Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although there has been extensive research in the areas of coping styles and breast cancer survivors, few studies have examined coping in relation to the presence of psychological distress in Asian American breast cancer survivors. This study specifically explores the potential moderating role of two types of coping (seeking social support and distancing coping) on the relationship between cancer concerns and indicators of psychological distress (i.e., symptoms of depression and anxiety) among Chinese American breast cancer survivors and especially among a high-risk group, immigrant Chinese Americans. A total of 110 immigrant Chinese American breast cancer survivors completed a package of questionnaires. The current study analyzed data using hierarchical regression analysis. Broadly, cancer-related concerns were positively associated with both symptoms of depression and anxiety. Seeking social support coping was negatively associated with depressive symptoms. Distancing coping moderated the relationship between cancer-related concerns and the symptoms of anxiety, reducing anxiety among those with high levels of concern and increasing anxiety among those with lower levels of cancer concerns. For immigrant Chinese American breast cancer patients, distancing coping may be adaptive when dealing with high levels of stress. Future interventions among patients should consider teaching effective coping strategies within their cultural contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108–116
JournalAsian American Journal of Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2020


  • Breast cancer
  • Coping strategies
  • Immigrant Chinese American
  • Moderating effect
  • Psychological distress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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