A Review of Posttraumatic Growth and Help-Seeking Behavior in Cancer Survivors: Effects of Distal and Proximate Culture

Tomoko Matsui, Kanako Taku

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

6 Citations (Scopus)


Recent studies have shown that cancer survivors experience severe psychological distress, but some also experience personal growth, known as posttraumatic growth (PTG). Help-seeking behavior (HSB) is critical for cancer survivors to better cope with stress and possibly experience PTG. The existing theoretical models of PTG and HSB assume that cancer survivors, regardless of their cultural background or personality, will receive benefit from actively interacting with others. The purpose of this review article is to critically examine this assumption and to propose that the roles of distal and proximate cultures need to be considered in further understanding the psychological mechanisms of PTG and HSB. Future studies should identify the culture-specific meanings and implications of experiencing PTG and engaging in HSB.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-162
Number of pages21
JournalJapanese Psychological Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Cancer survivors
  • Distal culture
  • Help-seeking behavior
  • posttraumatic growth
  • Proximate culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

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