General Research InterestUnderstanding the role of cognitive, affective, and interpersonal processes in
the sexual, psychological, and physical health outcomes of women with cancer.
Research DescriptionDr. Carpenter’s primary research focuses on the identification of risk factors for sexual and psychological maladjustment in gynecologic and breast cancer patients during various stages of diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. She also focuses on identification of cognitive and interpersonal processes that modulate sexual and psychological outcomes, with the goal of developing a model of adjustment that incorporates not only premorbid risk, but also cognitive and interpersonal process variables with potential clinical utility. This line of research has most recently culminated in an NCI-funded (R21) randomized clinical trial of a psychosexual intervention for gynecologic cancer patients. Dr. Carpenter’s long-term goal is to build on her current body of work to develop an extramurally funded research program that supports the development of effective, disseminable psychosocial interventions aimed at reducing sexual and psychological morbidity in women with cancer.