A systems model for adaptation to somatic distress among cancer survivors

Mark R. Somerfield, Michael E. Stefanek, Thomas J. Smith, Jennifer J. Padberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Applied coping research has generally failed to fulfill its goal of providing an empirical basis for clinical interventions, and research on coping with cancer is no exception. This can be attributed in large measure to the wide gap between coping theory and coping research. Theories of stress and adaptation are complex systems formulations that present conceptual and methodological challenges and thus make testing comprehensive models difficult. The present paper reviews arguments for a microanalytic strategy through which researchers can increase coverage of relevant variables from broad systems models of stress and coping by concentrating their resources on selected, high-frequency, high-stress problems. The utility of this approach for formulating problem-specific systems models is illustrated using the example of coping with somatic distress among cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-343
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Oncology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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