Lung cancer stigma is a burgeoning area of literature, yet two important questions remain unanswered: a) What are the associations between lung cancer stigma and psychosocial outcomes across lung cancer survivors with different smoking histories and b) how would lung cancer survivors describe their experience of coping strategies they utilize to cope with lung cancer stigma. This dissertation presents two studies that seek to answer the above-mentioned questions: a) a quantitative study that describes the rates of Personal Responsibility, Regret, and Medical Stigma and the associations between the above-mentioned constructs and psychosocial outcomes; and b) a qualitative study of coping strategies that lung cancer survivors reported utilizing in response to lung cancer stigma. Results from the quantitative study suggest that, while current and former smokers report significantly greater rates of Personal Responsibility and Regret when compared to never smokers, smoking status did not significantly affect the level of Medical Stigma reported by lung cancer survivors. The most common themes extracted from the qualitative data were coping strategies involving education, avoidance, support, helping others, acceptance, and assertive communication. Further research is needed to investigate exactly how lung cancer stigma relates to psychosocial outcomes. As future interventions geared towards lung cancer stigma are developed and tested, it will be important to a) measure lung cancer stigma and its associated constructs (e.g., regret, guilt/shame, personal responsibility) with instruments that are firmly rooted in testable theoretical frameworks, b) track psychosocial outcome variables and their changes as a result of the treatment response via the intervention, c) and observe any differences in how stigma variables (e.g., perceived stigma and internalized stigma) might be associated differently with outcome variables and change over time differently depending on smoking history (e.g., comparing outcomes between ever vs. never smokers).
School of Behavioral Health
Owen, Jason E.
Arechiga, Adam L.
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Year Degree Awarded
Date (Title Page)
Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings
Lung Neoplasms - psychology; Adaptation - psychological; Health Status Indicators; Treatment Outcomes
Subject - Local
Lung Cancer; Stigma; Psychosocial outcomes; Coping strategies; Personal Responsibility and Regret; Guilt/Shame;
Loma Linda University Libraries
This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.
Criswell, Kevin R., "Lung Cancer Stigma: Associated Variables and Coping Strategies" (2016). Loma Linda University Electronic Theses, Dissertations & Projects. Paper 330.
Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations
Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives