Peer Perceptions and Social Support for Young Adults on the Cancer Continuum
While on the cancer continuum, individuals report a sense of social isolation due to a lack of understanding among peers about their experiences and diagnoses (Iannarino et al., 2017). Increasingly, social support is given online rather than in person due to the positive language and communication that relies on the written word more than social cues (Warner et al., 2018). Participants in this study were 152 young adults recruited from a private university and via social media platforms. Participants were asked to complete a survey including The Measure of Interpersonal Attraction Social Attraction sub-scale (McCroskey & McCain, 1974) and a measure of virtual and in person support for a peer who is in cancer current treatment or in remission. Results demonstrated that a young adult in remission of cancer is perceived as significantly more socially attractive than a young adult in current treatment of cancer. Other noteworthy results were that females significantly gave higher amounts of social support, both virtually and in-person, to a peer on the cancer continuum than males. Findings advocate for the understanding of the cancer diagnosis by young adults in hopes that their peers on the cancer continuum can receive more social support and be perceived as socially attractive.