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Psychol Aging. 1987 Dec;2(4):323-30.

Stress, appraisal, coping, and social support as predictors of adaptational outcome among dementia caregivers.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Alabama, Birmingham 35294.


A stress and coping model was used to study predictors of individual differences in caregiver adaptation. A total of 54 family caregivers of elderly dementia patients completed interviews and questionnaires assessing the severity of patient impairment and caregiving stressors; caregiver appraisals, coping responses, and social support and activity; and caregiver outcomes, including depression, life satisfaction, and self-rated health. Correlational and regression analyses supported the utility of the stress and coping model. Appraisal, coping responses, and social support and activity were significant predictors of caregiver outcome, even when severity of caregiving stressors was statistically controlled. The importance of a multidimensional approach to assessing caregiver outcomes was supported by regression analyses indicating that each caregiver outcome was predicted by different patterns of stressors, appraisal, coping, and social support and activity. Results are discussed in terms of a stress and coping model of caregiving, and clinical implications for work with caregiving families.

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