The relationship of personal and social resources on coping and individual well-being in caregivers of dementia patients Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/7s75dg51p

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  • Alzheimer's disease, a chronic and irreversible form of dementia, has been recognized as one of the most critical medical-social-economic problems facing our country. As Alzheimer's disease and other related dementias progress, the patient becomes increasingly dependent upon family and natural support systems to provide care. This dependency can place the caregiver in a role that is both difficult and demanding. The purpose of this study was to construct and assess a theoretical model which investigated the effects of patient functioning, personal and social resources on coping behaviors and adaptational outcomes (caregiver well-being) in caregivers of dementia patients. The theoretical model was tested with data from caregivers of patients with dementia throughout a 14 state region primarily in the Southwestern and Northwestern United States. A total of 502 caregivers participated in this study and only those caregivers who were related to the dementia patient were selected for in this study. Data was obtained through self-report questionnaires mailed either directly to the homes of the family caregiver or sent to support group leaders who them mailed the questionnaire to the caregivers. The theoretical model, which proposed latent variables, was assessed with the LISREL V computer program. Several other statistical analyses were also utilized, such as: one-way ANOVA's, Pearson product-moment correlations, factor analyses and multiple regression. Collectively the results from the LISREL analysis indicated a poor fit of the data to the proposed theoretical model. Subsequent analyses were conducted to further explore the validity of the proposed constructs and the structural relationships between them. Based on these results, it was found that several constructs were more integrated and conceptually complex than previously proposed. Internal control beliefs, problem-focused and refraining coping behaviors, and social support satisfaction were found to be predictors of positive adaptational outcomes in caregivers. Chance and Powerful Others control beliefs, avoidant/evasive and regressive coping behaviors were found to be predictors of negative adaptational outcomes. These findings lent support for the development of intervention programs which assist caregivers in developing specific skills necessary for coping with the potential long-term role of careprovider. The findings also indicated the strong relations between social support and a caregiver's ability to adapt to the caregiving role.
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