Collaborative Coping and Daily Mood in Couples Dealing With Prostate Cancer

Cynthia A. Berg, Deborah J. Wiebe, Jonathan Butner, Lindsey Bloor, Chester Bradstreet, Renn Upchurch, John Hayes, Robert Stephenson, Lillian Nail, Gregory Patton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Collaborative coping (i.e., spouses pooling resources and problem solving jointly) may be associated with better daily mood because of heightened perceptions of efficacy in coping with stressful events. The study examined the daily processes of collaborative coping (individuals' perceptions that the spouse collaborated), perceived coping effectiveness (ratings of how well they dealt with the event), and mood (i.e., Positive and Negative Affect Scale) across 14 days in 57 older couples coping with stressors involving the husband's prostate cancer and daily life in general. In hierarchical multivariate linear models, collaborative coping was associated with more positive same-day mood for both husbands and wives and less negative mood for wives only. These associations were partially mediated by heightened perceptions of coping effectiveness. Exploratory analyses revealed that collaborative coping was more frequent among wives who performed more poorly on cognitive tests and couples who reported greater marital satisfaction and more frequently using collaboration to make decisions. The results suggest that older couples may benefit from collaborative coping in dealing with problems surrounding illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)505-516
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • coping
  • couples and aging
  • dyadic coping
  • marriage
  • prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Social Psychology


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