Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Committee Chairperson

Erin Hill, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deanne Zotter, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ekeoma Uzogara, Ph.D.


Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality for women around the world, but despite the significant prevalence of the disease, research has shown that survival rates continue to improve globally. The present study utilized a cross-sectional design involving 108 women who were diagnosed with and completed treatment for breast cancer. Participants completed questionnaires that assessed their embodied reminders of their cancer treatment (e.g., scars, burns, hair loss), gender role orientation, self-narrative, mental health, and general well-being. Eight moderated mediation models were applied to test the hypothesis that women who identified as more feminine would experience greater biographical disruption and poorer body image as a result of their embodied reminders, which would, in turn, contribute to poorer mental health symptoms and reduced quality of life. Three total models were significant (Models 1, 2 & 4). In two models (Model 1 and 2), biographical disruption mediated the relationship between intensity of embodied reminders and both outcomes. Body image mediated the relationship between intensity of embodied reminders and quality of life (Model 4). For all three models, feminine gender role orientation moderated the relationship between intensity of embodied reminders and the mediators. The outcomes of this study indicate that biographical disruption and feminine gender role orientation are important clinical considerations in understanding and possibly addressing well-being among women diagnosed with breast cancer. As more women enter survivorship following treatment for breast cancer, offering support that focuses on women’s gender role orientation and personal narrative may be beneficial in promoting well-being.