Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology



First Advisor

Patrica J. Morokoff


This research examined the impact of breast cancer on body image and sexual functioning. Twenty women who underwent a mastectomy, twenty-one women who underwent a lumpectomy, and twenty-one women without personal history of breast disease or surgery completed measures of life experiences, marital satisfaction, body satisfaction, and sexual functioning. Data was both retrospective and prospective. The prospective data was collected in the form of daily diary ratings of body satisfaction and sexual functioning, which all participants completed for one month. Contrary to expectation, body satisfaction and sexual functioning did not differ between groups. For all groups, body satisfaction increased over time, and sexual functioning declined over time. Body image and sexual functioning items were reliably related for a few women in all three groups. Overall, results suggest that women adjust well to the consequences of breast cancer, and that after one year post surgery, there are no major body image or sexual functioning difficulties.



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