Changes in Communication Between Mothers and Daughters During a Mother's Breast Cancer Diagnosis

Open Access
Noll, Taryn Leigh
Area of Honors:
Communication Arts and Sciences
Bachelor of Arts
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Denise Haunani Solomon, Thesis Supervisor
  • Lori Ann Bedell, Honors Advisor
  • breast cancer
  • mother daughter
  • communication
  • breast cancer diagnosis
Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women in the United States (American Cancer Society, 2012). While this statistic is true in saying that 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, it does not take into account the many other people in a woman’s inner circle that are affected during her diagnosis. Many changes will occur in a woman’s life, and these changes can in turn affect her partner, her children, or her close friends as they adapt to these changes as well. A breast cancer diagnosis can change the lives of all those deeply involved. In particular, it can affect the female bond between mother and daughter. This research examines how the challenges of a woman’s breast cancer diagnosis affect her daughter. Does the mother-daughter relationship change during this experience? In particular, how does communication between mother and daughter change when a mother is undergoing her diagnosis and treatment? This research aims to find changes in the frequency of communication and topics of conversation between mother and daughter during a mother’s breast cancer diagnosis.