Laboratory for Psychooncology Research                                                               Thomas V. Merluzzi

Laboratory for Psychooncology Research Thomas V. Merluzzi

Merluzzi studies coping processes in people with cancer and cancer survivors from the perspective of social learning theory and, in particular, self-regulation and self-efficacy theories.

  • Watch the University of Notre Dame production of a brief video of Merluzzi’s work entitled,  “Fighting for those touched by cancer”

Link to video:

Current areas of research

Assessment of Self-efficacy for Coping with Cancer

Development and refinement of the Cancer Behavior Inventory (CBI; Merluzzi & Martinez Sanchez, 1997; Merluzzi et al., 2001; Heitzmann, Merluzzi et al., 2011), a widely-used measure of self-efficacy for coping with cancer. The CBI has been translated into many languages and is used world-wide. Version 3.0 of the CBI is forthcoming (Merluzzi et al., in press)

Link to Cancer Behavior Inventory (V2.0)       Link to Cancer Behavior Inventory (Brief Form)

Survivorship and Transition to Survivorship

Development of conceptual models of the transition from cancer treatment to cancer survivorship (Philip, Merluzzi, Zhang et al., 2013; Merluzzi et al, 2016; Philip & Merluzzi, 2016) that include the refinement and analysis of the measurement of distress, barriers to help-seeking, and the dynamics of coping resources such as self-efficacy for coping and social support. Recent work is also focusing on assessing moderators of distress (e.g., social resources, satisfaction with care) and facilitators and inhibitors of help-seeking.

“Letting Go” – Religious/Spiritual Perspectives on Relinquishing Control

Integration of modern psychological theory with traditional approaches to religious/spiritual coping in persons with cancer (Nairn & Merluzzi, 2003; Merluzzi, 2007; Howsepian & Merluzzi, 2009; Sherman, Merluzzi et al, 2015). Current projects focus on the historical, conceptual and practical aspects of relinquishing control or “letting go” (Merluzzi & Philip, in press; Serpentini, Capovilla, & Merluzzi, 2016).

  • Watch a video lecture on, “Letting Go – From Ancient to Modern Perspectives on Relinquishing Control”  
Link to video lecture:
  • Watch a short video on Letting Go prepared by Jean-François Dars and Anne Papillault as part of their Historie Courte series.

Link to Short Video on “Letting Go”

  • Essay on spiritual coping – “Dad and Jimmy” by Tom Merluzzi

Link to “Dad and Jimmy” :  

Psychosocial Issues in Racial Health Disparities

  Current projects are focusing on a threshold-restraint theory that explains the impact of perceived discrimination on the quality of life of African Americans with cancer (Merluzzi, Philip, Zhang, & Sullivan, 2015).

Complete citations are listed in  “Recent Publications”  – tab is in the header of this page

Link to Coping Self-Efficacy  (Cancer Behavior Inventory) and

Caregiver Self-efficacy (Caregiver Inventory) Measures