Thomas V. Merluzzi
University of Notre Dame
Coping processes in people with cancer
Merluzzi studies coping processes in people with cancer from the perspective of social learning theory and, in particular, self-efficacy theory. His work includes: the development and refinement of the Cancer Behavior Inventory (Merluzzi & Martinez Sanchez, 1997; Merluzzi et al., 2001; Heitzmann, Merluzzi et al. 2010), a widely used measure of self-efficacy for coping with cancer; the study of religious/spiritual coping in persons with cancer (Nairn & Merluzzi, 2003; Merluzzi, 2007; Howsepian & Merluzzi, 2009); and the refinement of the assessment of quality of life (Philip, Merluzzi et al., 2010) and caregiving efficacy (Heitzmann, Merluzzi, et al., in press).
The latest NIH (National Cancer Institute) grant-supported project focuses on methods for determining cultural bias in assessment in health psychology research. Papers in preparation focus on: the structure of coping for African American and Caucasian cancer patients and survivors; the pathways to quality-of-life for African American and Caucasian cancer patients and survivors; and role of maltreatment on the quality-of-life of African Americans with cancer.
Current interests focus on conceptual and culturally informed models of cancer survivorship including resilience trajectories and the refinement of the measurement of distress in cancer survivors including the prevalence of depression, symptoms, and problems.
Other work includes a volume entitled Life-Span Perspectives on Health and Illness (Whitman, Merluzzi, & White, 1999), which covers issues related to risk and resilience during infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. Merluzzi's contribution to that volume (Merluzzi & Nairn, 1999) focuses on midlife transitions in health. Finally, his contribution to a volume on multicultural psychology explored cultural competency in health professionals (Merluzzi & Hegde, 2003).