Caregiver stressors and depressive symptoms among older husbands and wives in the United States.

TitleCaregiver stressors and depressive symptoms among older husbands and wives in the United States.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsKim, MHee, Dunkle, RE, Lehning, AJ, Shen, H-W, Feld, S, Perone, AK
JournalJournal of Women & Aging
ISSN Number1540-7322
KeywordsCaregiving, Depressive symptoms, Marriage, Older Adults, Women and Minorities

Framed by Pearlin's Stress Process Model, this study prospectively examines the effects of primary stress factors reflecting the duration, amount, and type of care on the depressive symptoms of spousal caregivers over a 2-year period, and whether the effects of stressors differ between husbands and wives. Data are from the 2004 and 2006 waves of the Health and Retirement Study and we included community-dwelling respondents providing activities of daily life (ADL) and/or instrumental activities of daily life (IADL) help to their spouses/partners (N = 774). Results from multivariate regression models indicate that none of the primary stressors were associated with depressive symptoms. However, wives providing only personal care had significantly more depressive symptoms than wives providing only instrumental care, while husbands providing different types of care showed no such differences. To illuminate strategies for reducing the higher distress experienced by wife caregivers engaged in personal care assistance, further studies are needed incorporating couples' relational dynamics and gendered experiences in personal care.

Alternate JournalJ Women Aging
Citation Key8670
PubMed ID27673406