OBJECTIVE: Social relationship coping efficacy (SRCE) is the confidence to engage in behaviors that can maintain or enhance close social relationships in the context of illness. This study focused on psychometric analyses of the SRCE scale and its role in maintaining or enhancing personal relationships, social support, and quality of life (QOL).
METHOD: A mixed diagnosis sample (N = 151) of cancer patients completed a variety of measures: physical debilitation, received emotional and instrumental support, SRCE, and QOL.
RESULTS: The SRCE scale is a 10-item, one-factor, internally reliable (α = 0.965) measure with strong concurrent validity in relation to measures of social support. SRCE fully mediated the relationship between physical debilitation and both instrumental and emotional received support. SRCE also was directly related to both social/family well-being and psychological distress, and this relationship was also partially mediated by social support.
CONCLUSIONS: The results corroborated that SRCE might account for changes in both instrumental and emotional support. Also, the direct and indirect relationship (mediated by social support) of SRCE with both social/family well-being and distress indicated that interventions to increase SRCE with those at risk for social support loss may bolster social support in personal relationships as well as enhance emotional well-being and quality of life.