The Importance of Social and Emotional Needs for the Psychological Well-Being of Cancer Survivors: An Application of Socioemotional Selectivity Theory
Al-Halimi, Raneem Khalil
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As the number of cancer survivors continues to rise, there is an increasing need for psychological research to better understand and help individuals cope with their cancer journey. According to Socioemotional Selectivity theory (SST), shortened time perspective and mortality awareness heighten the importance of social and emotional goals. In the present analysis, SST is applied to the unmet needs of cancer survivors. This is done to provide a better understanding of the association between unmet needs of cancer survivors and the impact of such needs on the survivors' psychological well-being, especially in the case of survivor’s awareness of his/her mortality. In keeping with SST theory, we anticipated that for those with higher mortality awareness (e.g., recurrence of cancer, older age, greater mortality ratio), high unmet social and emotional needs, above else, will be associated with lower psychological well-being. Partial support was found for these hypotheses and results are discussed in terms of their contribution to a better understanding of the nature of psychological well-being of cancer survivors.