Wives, Husbands, and Daughters of Dementia Patients: Predictors of Caregivers' Mental and Physical Health

By Sparks, Martha B. PhD, Rn; Farran, Carol J. DNSc, Rn, Faan et al. | Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice, January 1, 1998 | Go to article overview

Wives, Husbands, and Daughters of Dementia Patients: Predictors of Caregivers' Mental and Physical Health


Sparks, Martha B. PhD, Rn, Farran, Carol J. DNSc, Rn, Faan, Donner, Edward PhD, Keane-Hagerty, Eleanora Ma, Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice


The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in and predictors of mental and physical health among wife, husband, and daughter caregivers of dementia patients using a stress and coping framework. The sample of 151 caregivers consisted of 55 wives, 43 husbands, and 53 daughters and was recruited from multiple community-based sources. Variables addressed were caregiver age, social position, years spent in caregiving, dementia severity, burden, worry, physical health, and mental health. Analysis of variance demonstrated gender-specific, kinship group differences in burden (F = 8.09, p = .000), worry (F = 6.287, p = .002), and age (F = 55.27, p = .000). Post hoc comparisons indicated that wives reported worrying most, while husbands were oldest and reported the least burden. Health predictors differed by group, with wives' mental health being predicted by severity of dementia, age, and worry (R2 = .16), husbands' mental health was predicted by burden and worry (R2 = .18); and worry was the only significant predictor of daughters' mental health (R2 = .33). Wives' physical health was predicted by years of caregiving and age (R2 = .10); husbands' physical health was predicted by age and worry (R2 - .24); and daughters' physical health was predicted by years spent in caregiving and burden (R2 = .27). Findings suggest that a stress and coping framework is a better predictive model for daughters' mental and physical health than for health of wives and husbands. Findings further indicate that different health-related nursing interventions may be required for different caregiver groups.

According to the 1990 U.S. Census, 8.2 million noninstitutionalized persons needed personal assistance with one or more of five major categories of everyday activities. Most assistance was provided by unpaid caregivers. Approximately 5.8 million persons provided assistance to a household member and 15.1 million persons provided care to one or more persons who lived outside their household (U. S. Bureau of the Census, 1990). Although physical and mental health is essential for continued fulfillment of the caregiving role, multiple studies indicate that the financial, emotional, and physical stress of the caregiving experience places the caregiver's health at risk (Fuller-Jonap & Haley, 1995; Mastrian, Ritter, & Deimling, 1996; Schulz & Williamson, 1991).

The purpose of this cross-sectional field study was to investigate differences in and predictors of mental and physical health among husband, wife, and daughter caregivers of dementia patients using a stress and coping framework (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984). Although stress has been defined as either stimulus (environment) or response (person), Lazarus and Folkman's (1984) definition of stress "emphasizes the relationship between the person and the environment. . ." (p. 21). Cognitive appraisal and the coping process are vital to the outcomes. "Psychological stress, therefore, is a relationship between the person and the environment that is appraisal by the person as taxing or exceeding his or her resources and endangering his or her well-being" (Lazarus & Folkman, 1984, p. 21). Major concepts are person factors influencing appraisal, situation/environment factors influencing appraisal, cognitive appraisal, coping, and outcomes or manifestations of stress.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Background literature is organized into two categories: (1) predictors of caregiver mental and physical health, and (2) gender and relationship differences relative to caregiver mental and physical health. The review included studies about caregivers of chronically ill adults. Studies have addressed person factors, situation factors, and appraisal variables as predictors of health changes.

In the extensive caregiver literature, numerous variables have been associated with mental and physical health of caregivers. Mental health alterations have been related to the younger age of caregivers (Given, Stommel, Collins, King, & Given, 1990), female caregivers (Draper, Poulos, Poulos, & Ehrlich, 1996; Reis, Gold, Andres, Markiewicz, & Gaughier, 1994; Wright, Clipp, & George, 1993), and lower social position (Russo & Vitaliano, 1995; Schulz, O'Brien, Bookwala, & Fleissner, 1995; Wright, Clipp, & George, 1993). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

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 article

This article 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 article

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

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

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 article

Wives, Husbands, and Daughters of Dementia Patients: Predictors of Caregivers' Mental and Physical Health
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

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?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access 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

    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.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.