Comparative Study

| Published: December 25, 2015

Individual Differences in Search for Meaning: The Role of Religion/Spirituality and Social Support-An Indian Perspective

Dr. Shweta Tandon

Assistant Prof /Sports Psychologist, Sports Injury Centre, Safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, India Google Scholar More about the auther

, Dr. Seema Mehrotra

Professor, Dept of Clinical Psychology, Nimhans, Bangalore, India Google Scholar More about the auther

DIP: 18.01.049/20150301

DOI: 10.25215/0301.049


Background: The diagnosis of cancer can shake the equanimity of the strongest individual and the onset of symptoms and eventual diagnosis are occasions for questions such as “Why me?”, “Why now?”, and “How did I get this illness?” Aims: The purpose of the present research on a sample of 103 recently diagnosed cancer patients was to investigate the extent of preoccupation with search for meaning, to document individual differences when one is confronted with a cancer diagnosis and to record changes if any in preoccupation during an interval of one month. Secondly to assess the role of religion/spirituality as well as social support in individual encounters with cancer by examining the effects of these two variables among individuals facing a common stressful situation. Lastly to examine relationship of search for meaning with psychological outcomes (anxiety, depression and quality of life). Results: The results indicated that individual differences did exist in the degree of preoccupation with “why me”, social support scores significantly differentiated between subgroups with different levels of preoccupation with “why me?” and that patients with highest engagement with “why me” had poorer quality of life and elevated distress levels. Conclusion: Findings highlighted the important role of meaning making issues and the need to address them in intervention. Secondly dialoguing with treating physicians regarding the important role of psychological variables and their relation to distress levels and quality of life.

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ISSN 2348-5396

ISSN 2349-3429



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Published in   Volume 03, Issue 1, October-December, 2015