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Psychol Aging. 1999 Jun;14(2):206-19.

Change in depressive symptoms among daughter caregivers: an 18-month longitudinal study.

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Waisman Center and School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 53705-2280, USA.


This longitudinal study investigates, over an 18-month period, the caregiving experience of a probability sample of 115 daughters who provided care to an aging parent. The levels of depressive symptoms manifested by these daughters were relatively low, with only 23.5% scoring in the clinical range during the study. Nevertheless, there was substantive change in depressive symptoms among the daughters during the 18 months. Daughters with higher levels of mastery were more likely to use problem-focused coping strategies, which led to reductions in depression, whereas daughters with lower levels of mastery were more likely to use emotion-focused coping, which led to increased levels of depression. Mastery was higher when the caregiving role was shared with a sibling: it was lower if the daughter had other caregiving responsibilities and if the parent care recipient had elevated levels of behavior problems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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