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Abstract

Using two different factor structures for the Mental Adjustment to Cancer (MAC) scale, the present study examined the relationship between mental attitude and emotional adjustment in a sample of 58 cancer patients. Analyses, using the original Watson MAC subscales, showed that: (a) fighting spirit was associated with better emotional adjustment, whereas hopelessness/helplessness and anxious preoccupation were associated with poor emotional adjustment and (b) subjects with low fighting spirit, high hopelessness/helplessness and moderate anxious preoccupation also had high levels of emotional distress. Analyses, on the alternative Schwartz MAC subscales, showed that: (a) positive reappraisal was associated with better emotional adjustment, whereas hopelessness was associated with poor emotional adjustment and (b) subjects with low hopelessness, high positive reappraisal, high positive attitude and high vigilant participation also had lower levels of emotional distress. However, for both factor structures, certain subscales showed a weak association to mood. Overall, the results validate both MAC factor structures, but highlight the need for additional refinement of the MAC scale.