Date of Completion

Spring 4-29-2020

Thesis Advisor(s)

Crystal Park

Honors Major





This thesis project used cross-sectional survey data from a larger longitudinal study of cancer patients' psychological adjustment to analyze correlations between a history of traumatic life experiences, personal control beliefs, and death anxiety in cancer patients who had been diagnosed between 1 and 3 years prior. Contrary to hypotheses, lifetime trauma history was not found to predict an external locus of control in patients but, in fact, was related to greater feelings of control over the course of their illness. However, results did confirm the hypothesis that control beliefs would be related in specific ways to anxiety about cancer-related death. Subjects who reported feeling more control over their illness were found to experience less death anxiety, while those who felt that their diagnosis most severely violated their sense of control over their lives on the whole reported the highest levels of death anxiety.

Included in

Psychology Commons