Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Coping among African-American Daughters Caring for Aging Parents

Academic journal article ABNF Journal

Coping among African-American Daughters Caring for Aging Parents

Article excerpt

Abstract: Background: A higher proportion of African-American caregivers reported having suffered physical and mental problems because of caregiving (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2005). Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the coping strategies of African-American daughters who have functioned as caregivers. The Neuman Systems model was utilized as the framework for this study. Method: An exploratory design utilizing qualitative and quantitative methodologies was conducted in two phases. Phase I (N = 44) consisted of a series of focus groups sessions and Phase II (N = 106) participants completed the Basic Interview Schedule Survey. Discussion: Findings revealed than other groups to report dementia and stroke in their care recipients that daughters who attended support groups had increased family involvement, were religious and coped better with caregiving. Conclusion: This study concluded that religion gave most participants a strong tolerance for the caregiving situation and served to mediate the caregiving strain.

Key Words: African American Daughters, Aged Parents, Coping

Caregiving roles create stress on family members caring for an elderly parent (Kasuya, Polgar-Bailey, & Takeuchi, 2000). African-American caregivers are more likely, adding to the demands of their responsibilities (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2005), and subsequent stress. As a result, a higher proportion of African-American caregivers report suffering physical and mental problems as a result of caregiving (U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, 2005).

From 2000 to 2050, projections indicate that the Caucasian elderly population will double, and the African-American elderly population will quadruple (U.S. Bureau of the Census Bureau, 2000). African-American families generally take upon themselves the care of the elderly and other dependent family members (Dilworth-Anderson, 2002). In addition, a significant number of aging parents receive care at home from adult daughters (Family Caregiving Alliance, 2005).

In light of the minority caregiving demographics, it is imperative to understand coping factors among African-American women. Thus, the purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of African-American daughters who functioned as caregivers for their aging parents. Coping factors were one of the many variables explored in this study. Coping was assessed from a semi-structured interview question that asked: "How have you been able to cope with caregiving?" A research question, "What are the coping strategies of African-American daughters?" was also asked. Findings relative to coping are reported here.

BACKGROUND AND SIGNIFICANCE

Coping had been described as a continuous interaction between the person's primary appraisal of what is at stake in a situation and a secondary appraisal of what resources are necessary to meet the situation (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Research suggested that African-Americans might be more resilient than Caucasians to the psychological effects of caregiving because they were more likely to have experienced a lifetime of adversity. In a few studies that included African-Americans in their sample, researchers speculated that African-American caregivers experienced less depression, burden, and stress in their caregiving roles (DiIworth-Anderson, 1997; Lawton, Rajogopal, Brody, & Kleban, 1992; Martin, 2000). Research has shown the dissimilarities in coping strategies among races. Caregivers who did not perceive caregiving as stressful did not use varied coping strategies (Cuellar, 2002).

Haley et al. (1996) found from their sample of Caucasian (n = 123) and African-American (n = 74) family caregivers of patients with Alzheimer's disease that African-American caregivers appraised patient problems as being less stressful and were generally more tolerant of disturbances from family members than were Caucasians. …

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