Objectives Individual differences in stress appraisal, coping, optimism and social support have contributed to variability in adjustment to breast cancer, but less is known about their relative influence particularly at diagnosis. The purpose of this study was to compare the predictive role of these variables on both positive and negative adjustment in a sample of recently diagnosed women. Method Data was collected from 241 women at diagnosis and post-surgery (4?months later). They completed questionnaires which assessed global and cancer-specific stress, general and cancer-specific coping, emotional adjustment (depression, anxiety, positive and negative affect) at Times 1 and 2 and benefit finding at Time 2. Results Hierarchical regression analyses (all p?