The association among care given, perceived reciprocity, and frustration with caregiving for daughters Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/xg94hs43h

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  • Decreasing mortality rates and increasing life expectancy are contributing factors in a trend currently referred to as the "graying" of America. Some members of this aging population will require caregiving support from their families. Because women tend to outlive men, adult daughters generally assume this important role for their widowed mothers. As the health of the care recipient declines, the caregiver often suffers from stress or frustration. Some current research links health declines with decreases in elders' abilities to reciprocate instrumentally for care received. Other research suggests elders compensate for their inabilities to give instrumental aid such as advice and money by continuing to give socioemotional aid such as support and love. It is not known how caregiver stress levels relate to the exchange of socioemotional aid. Thus, this study examined the association among care given, perceived reciprocity, and frustration with daughters' caregiving. The question asked was: Does perceived socioemotional aid moderate the impact of the level of caregiving on frustration with caregiving for daughters? Social exchange theory was the perspective utilized for this research. This theory posits that an individual's desire to reciprocate is due to a general moral norm of obligation and that when people can/do reciprocate, the relationship costs decline. The sample for this study consisted of 164 dependent-mother/caregiving-daughter pairs. Frequencies, means, and standard deviations of background characteristics of all study participants were reported. A correlation matrix showed the relationships among variables. A series of multiple regressions were performed to examine the relationships among the variables as well as the predicted interaction. Results indicated that increased care given to mothers was a significant predictor of increased frustration with caregiving for daughters, and increased perceived socioemotional aid to daughters was a significant predictor of decreased frustration with caregiving for daughters. There was no interaction effect, however. That is, the effect of the amount of care given on frustration was not moderated by socioemotional aid from care recipients. Limitations, implications, and recommendations for further research are discussed. These recommendations include the need for additional research in the area of lifespan or generalized reciprocity and intergenerational relationships.
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