The Association of Social Support and Leisure Time Physical Activity with Mental Health Among Individuals with Cancer




Kim, Jaehyun

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Individuals with cancer often report high levels of negative social and psychological symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and social isolation. Despite the importance of emotional, information, and tangible support and leisure time physical activity (LTPA) participation among individuals with cancer, there is limited quantitative studies that examine how those factors are associated with mental health of individuals with cancer. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the mediating role of LTPA in the relationship between emotional, information, and tangible support and mental health among individuals with cancer. This study used Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), a national data set published in 2017. Path analysis revealed that that emotional, information, and tangible social support had direct effects on mental health. Moreover, the results of this study indicated that only emotional support was a significant predictor of LTPA among individuals with cancer. The results of the bootstrapping test indicated that there was a significant mediating effect of LPTA on the relationship between emotional support and mental health. That is, individuals with cancer who perceived emotional support tended to engage in LTPA and thus reported better mental health. Results of this study emphasizes the value of emotional support for LTPA participation and mental health among individuals with cancer. Healthcare professionals including recreational therapists who work with individuals with cancer need to implement a variety of emotional support groups for cancer patients and survivors.



Social support, Leisure time, Physical activity, Mental health, Cancer


Kim, J. (2019). <i>The association of social support and leisure time physical activity with mental health among individuals with cancer</i> (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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