Loneliness and Emotional Support Predict Physical and Psychological Distress in Latinas with Breast Cancer and Their Supportive Partners

Chris Segrin1, *, Terry Badger2, Alice Pasvogel2
1 Department of Communication, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
2 College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

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© 2015 Segrin et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Communication, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ USA, 85721; E-mail:


Following predictions from the stress process model, associations between loneliness, emotional support, physical health, and psychological distress were tested in 115 Latinas with breast cancer and their supportive partners. Results showed that loneliness and emotional support were predictive of psychological distress and physical symptoms. Additionally, emotional support minimized the association between physical symptoms and psychological distress. There were strong individual-level effects for loneliness and emotional support on physical health and psychological distress, and evidence that a partner’s loneliness also worsened psychological distress in the participants.