Perceived Social Support Mediates the Longitudinal Relations between Ambivalence over Emotional Expression and Quality of Life among Chinese American Breast Cancer Survivors

William Tsai, Qian Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The present study examined perceived social support as a mediator of the longitudinal link between ambivalence over emotional expression (AEE) and quality of life among a sample of Chinese breast cancer survivors. Methods: Ninety-six Chinese breast cancer survivors recruited from Southern California completed four surveys in total: (1) a baseline survey (T1), 1-month follow-up (T2), 3-month follow-up (T3), and 6-month follow-up (T4). Participants filled out a paper-pen questionnaire containing the Ambivalence over Emotional Expression Questionnaire (AEQ), the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-General (FACT-G), and the Medical Outcomes Study Social Support Scale (MOS-SSS). Results: Higher T1 AEE was associated with lower T1 social support (B = −0.01, SE = 0.004, p < 0.01) which in turn was associated with lower quality of life at T2 (B = 2.98, SE = 0.64, p < 0.01), T3 (B = 2.14, SE = 0.54, p < 0.01), and T4 (B = 2.08, SE = 0.68, p < 0.01). Conclusions: These results suggest that the harmful effect of AEE on quality of life is explained by reduced social support. Given the detrimental effects of AEE on social support and quality of life, future research on interventions that facilitate emotional disclosure is needed. Implications for the effects of Chinese culture on AEE are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)368-373
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018



  • Ambivalence over emotional expression
  • Asian American
  • Chinese
  • Perceived social support
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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