Titles and Affiliations

Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology
Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
Member, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center
Senior Research Scientist, Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology
University of California
Los Angeles, California

Research area

Developing evidence-based approaches to promote the psychological, social, and physical health of women living with breast cancer.

Impact

While no two women will experience the diagnosis and treatment for their breast cancer in exactly the same way, there are certain emotional and physical challenges that many share, such as adhering to endocrine therapy and managing depression and anxiety. In addition, African American women who have breast cancer face specific challenges that have a negative effect on their quality of life. Dr. Stanton is developing and testing interventions that address these issues to improve both breast cancer outcomes and the quality of life for patients. 

Progress Thus Far

Dr. Stanton has completed one trial (REACH) testing an intervention to promote endocrine therapy adherence. Data analysis is underway. In a second line of research, her team has formulated linguistic predictors of depressive symptoms in women living with metastatic breast cancer (MBC). Their findings suggest that psychological distancing and normalization of one’s metastatic breast cancer experience may be a powerful strategy for women vulnerable to depressive symptoms. In the last year, Dr. Stanton and her colleagues have accrued 37 African American breast cancer survivors to a new trial (SOAR: Speaking Our African American Realities) that evaluates the relevance and consequences of the Strong Black Woman schema to the health and well-being of these patients. The schema involves historically-grounded patterns of thought and behavior that are presumably hazardous (such as emotional suppression, neglect of self-care in the service of caring for others) to women’s well-being and health. 

What's next

Dr. Stanton will continue to analyze the data obtained from her studies and develop interventions to improve therapy adherence and relieve depression in breast cancer patients including those living with MBC. In addition, they will also continue accrual to the SOAR study which will serve as a foundation for the development and testing of resources for African American breast cancer survivors.

Biography

Annette L. Stanton, PhD, is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry/Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles, senior research scientist at the UCLA Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology, and a member of the Center for Cancer Prevention and Control Research in the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. Her research centers on specifying factors that promote psychological and physical health in individuals who confront health-related adversity, including cancer, infertility, and other medical conditions. She is particularly interested in the conditions under which specific coping processes promote or hinder health and well-being. In the area of psychosocial oncology, Dr. Stanton conducts longitudinal research to understand the influences of personality and contextual resources, cognitive appraisals, and coping processes on the quality of life and health in individuals diagnosed with or at risk for a range of cancers, including cancer of the breast, eye, lung, and prostate. She then works to translate her findings into effective interventions for individuals living with cancer through conducting randomized, controlled trials of psychosocial interventions. In 2003, Dr. Stanton received the Senior Investigator Award from Division 38 (Health Psychology) of the American Psychological Association, and in 2012-13 she served as President of Division 38. In 2013, she received the Society of Behavioral Medicine Cancer Special Interest Group Award for Outstanding Achievement in Behavioral Medicine and Psycho-Oncologic Research. She has received awards for undergraduate teaching and graduate mentoring. In 2006, Professor Stanton was honored with the J. Arthur Woodward Graduate Mentoring Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award in the UCLA Department of Psychology.

BCRF Investigator Since

2004

Donor Recognition

Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation Award

Areas of Focus