Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly

By David M. Cutler; David A. Wise | Go to book overview

15
Inter-Spousal Mortality Effects
Caregiver Burden Across the
Spectrum of Disabling Disease

Nicholas A. Christakis and Paul D. Allison

The health of two people connected by a social tie may be interdependent. The impact of the death of one spouse on the risk of death of the other, known as the widow/er effect, is a classic example (Parkes and Fitzgerald 1969; Lillard and Waite 1995; Martikainen and Valkonen 1996a; and Schaefer, Quesenberry, and Soora 1995). The impact of illness in one spouse on the risk of ill health or death in the other spouse (the proband under study), is another example. This latter phenomenon, often termed caregiver burden, is typically studied as if it were unrelated to the widower effect (Clipp and George 1993; Dunkin and Anderson-Hanley 1998; Shaw et al. 1997; Schulz et al. 2003)—as if ill health in a spouse affects the morbidity, but not necessarily the mortality, of caregiving probands.

Indeed, most prior work on caregiver burden has focused on how spousal illness worsens the health of probands, but not on whether it increases their mortality, with the exception of one influential study that suggested that caregiving to dementia patients was a risk factor for death (Schulz and Beach 1999). Moreover, comparisons across different types of spousal diseases, in terms of how they may affect caregiver health, are lacking. Some studies have found that worse physical health in a spouse is

Nicholas A. Christakis is a Professor in the Departments of Health Care Policy and of So-
ciology at Harvard University, and an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospi
tal. Paul D. Allison is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Penn-
sylvania.

The authors thank Laurie Meneades for the expert data programming required to build the
analytic data set and Felix Elwert for statistical programming and for comments on the man-
uscript. We also thank participants in the NBER Disability Workshop for helpful feedback.
We are grateful for financial support from the National Institute on Aging grants P30
AG12810 and R01 AG19805, and the Mary Woodard Lasker Charitable Trust and Michael
E. DeBakey Foundation.

-455-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Health at Older Ages: The Causes and Consequences of Declining Disability among the Elderly
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 494

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.