Coping with Cancer


Riley Harder
Mentor: Dr. Laird Edman
Department of Psychology

Millions of people are diagnosed with cancer each year. A cancer diagnosis will inevitably lead to the implementation of one or more coping mechanisms. The current study examined the impact of an individual's concept of God on positive and negative religious coping. Participants were 54 adults who had a cancer diagnosis at some point within their lifetime (males = 18, females = 36). Participants completed cancer demographics, the Adjective Checklist for God, and the Brief RCOPE. For each participant, a composite score was obtained from the Adjective Checklist to create an overall God concept, and composite scores were obtained from the Brief RCOPE to create a positive and negative coping score. Significant correlations were found between age and overall God concept, and between positive coping and overall God concept. Furthermore, positive coping was related to positive God concept and negative God concept. No significant association was found between negative coping and age, overall God concept, positive coping, or negative coping. Implications and limitations of these findings are discussed in this project, as well as suggestions for future research.