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Gerontologist. 1993 Aug;33(4):542-50.

Aging parents of adults with disabilities: the gratifications and frustrations of later-life caregiving.

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  • 1University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Using a stress process model, we investigated the impact of later-life caregiving on 105 mothers of adult children with mental illness and 208 mothers of adult children with mental retardation. As hypothesized, mothers of persons with mental illness reported higher levels of frustrations and lower levels of gratifications. Whereas the adult child's behavior problems were the strongest predictor of maternal gratifications, the adult child's diagnosis was the strongest predictor of maternal frustrations once all other factors were controlled. In addition, the size of the mother's social network, the family social climate, and the child's participation in an out-of-home program were associated with the effect of caregiver stress.

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