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Soutenance de thèse : Noemie NIVEAU

Thesis defence

On 16 March 2021

The lexical association technique : development of a therapeutic perspective to increase self-esteem and application in oncology

Self-esteem is recognized as an essential psychological resource. Low self-esteem is a trans-diagnostic symptom of many psychological disorders. Considering its association with coping skills and psychological adjustment strategies, the preservation of self-esteem appears to be an important clinical issue in oncology care as it would allow patients to better cope with the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. This thesis, through a meta-analysis of the interventions proposed to increase self-esteem in adults, has highlighted some of their characteristics that limit their efficacy and clinical applicability. Then, seven randomized controlled studies were conducted and allowed the development of a new short and self-administered technique for self-esteem increase, easily applicable to cancer patients. The lexical association technique aims at improving self-esteem by reinforcing the associative links between the Self and positive concepts stored in memory, through the activation of semantic and episodic forms of self-knowledge. This reinforcement is based on a reading and mental visualization exercise.In this thesis, the efficacy of the lexical association technique on global self-esteem was highlighted in students and breast cancer patients. Various studies aiming to simplifying and increasing the clinical applicability of the technique have demonstrated the need for retrieval of detailed memory traces, as well as the importance of contact with the experimenter in the efficacy of our technique. These results enabled us to develop and test a second format of the lexical association technique on global self-esteem, optimizing the activation of episodic self-perceptions, and proposing personalized and engaging exercises. Self-perceptions, on which self-esteem is based, are rooted in the individual's memory system. This thesis has contributed to highlighting that their reinforcement requires a combined activation of the different forms of self-knowledge that constitute them. However, the clinical applications of the lexical association technique as a transdiagnostic intervention have yet to be defined.

Encadrants :
- Directeur de thèse : Boris NEW (boris[dot]new[at]univ-savoie[dot]fr)
- Co-encadrant : Marine Beaudoin - (marine[dot]beaudoin[at]univ-smb[dot]fr)

Keywords: lexical association technique, self-esteem, cancer, episodic and semantic memory,



On 16 March 2021


USMB - Dotation EPSCP - Ligue Contre le Cancer

18/12/2018 - 16/03/2021

Submitted on 20 November 2023

Updated on 20 November 2023