We examined how two male gender-related traits, agency (focus on self) and unmitigated agency (focus on self to the exclusion of others), were related to physical and emotional functioning in 162 men (92% Caucasian) treated for prostate cancer. As predicted, unmitigated agency was associated with worse functioning and more cancer-related difficulties. By contrast, agency was associated with better functioning and fewer cancer-related difficulties. We tested whether difficulties expressing emotions explained these relations. Unmitigated agency was associated with difficulty expressing emotions, and agency was associated with the ability to express emotions. Structural equation modeling was used to show that emotional expressiveness mediated the relations of unmitigated agency and agency to adjustment to prostate cancer. The implications of these results for interventions to enhance men's adjustment to prostate cancer are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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