Psychometric properties and correlates of a brief scale measuring the psychological construct mattering to others in a sample of women recovering from breast cancer

  • Samantha M. DavisEmail author
  • Stephen J. Lepore
  • Levent Dumenci



Mattering to others, or perceiving one is a significant part of the social world, may be important to breast cancer survivors’ quality of life. This study examines the reliability and validity of the 5-item general mattering scale (GMS) to assess mattering in breast cancer survivors.


A secondary analysis and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) were performed on data from an intervention study with breast cancer survivors that included the GMS and other psychological measures.


The unidimensional representation of the GMS was consistent with the data (χ2 = 8.102; df = 4; p = .088). The scale was highly reliable as indicated by McDonald’s omega of .84. The scale was significantly correlated with all psychological measures in the predicted direction except anxiety. After controlling for social support, the scale was significantly, positively correlated with functional quality of life, self-esteem, positive affect, and having meaning in life. Mattering was significantly, negatively correlated with searching for meaning. Significantly higher level of mattering was found among married participants and among women who had not obtained psychological therapy.


The 5-item GMS is a practical, reliable, and valid tool the measuring mattering to others among breast cancer survivors.


Breast cancer Quality of life Mattering Meaning in life 



This work was supported in part by NIH Grant R21CA15881 (SJL).


This study was partially funded by NIH Grant R21CA15887.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Samantha Davis declares that she has no conflict of interest. Stephen Lepore received funding to support the study, NIH Grant R21CA15887.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samantha M. Davis
    • 1
    Email author
  • Stephen J. Lepore
    • 2
  • Levent Dumenci
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, College of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, College of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public HealthTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

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