A comparison of self-concept in individuals with cancer and individuals with and without stress-related illnesses
Rokita, Susan A.
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Research suggests that stress-related illnesses and cancer occur in individuals with similar personality traits. Self-concept is a basic aspect of personality. The purpose of this study was to determine if a significant difference exists in self-concept levels as measured by the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale (TSCS) and its personality scores between the three comparison groups of: (a) individuals with cancer, (b) individuals with stress-related illnesses, and (c) individuals with neither cancer nor a stress-related illness in their present or past medical histories. Data collection took place at a northern Illinois teaching hospital. Each comparison group was comprised of approximately 10 subjects from a convenience sample of medical-surgical patients between 18 and 65 years of age. Data analysis of the TSCS variables employed analysis of variance and the Scheffe multiple comparison test. The Neuroses Scale showed evidence of a statistical difference between Group 2 (Stress Individuals) and Group 3 (Control Individuals) at the .05 significance level. Additional findings showed evidence by t-test analysis that the subgroup of Group 2 (Stress Individuals) with an inflammatory bowel disease showed a statistical difference on the Neuroses Scale at the .02 significance level, approaching the .01 significance level, when compared with Group 3 (Control Individuals). Group 1 (Cancer Individuals) and Group 2 (Stress Individuals) were not shown to be statistically similar on any dimension of the TSCS; however, they were not shown to be statistically dissimilar.