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J Health Soc Behav. 1995 Jun;36(2):138-50.

Ethnic differences in caregiving duties and burdens among parents and siblings of persons with severe mental illnesses.

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  • 1Institute for Health, Health Care Policy, and Aging Research, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA.


The policy of community care for the seriously mentally ill increases the caregiving duties and resulting burden on families with members who have a mental illness. Ethnicity is one factor that might have an important impact on the caregiving duties family members perform and the burden that results from these duties. This study uses interviews with 78 parents and 70 siblings of patients scheduled for imminent release from a state mental hospital. The findings indicate that Black and White parents have equivalent caregiving duties, but White parents report substantially more caregiver burden. Black siblings report more caregiving duties than White siblings but report less caregiver burden. These ethnic differences remain after controls for income, gender, age, diagnosis, perceived stigma, and coresidence. The results indicate that ethnicity can be a critical factor affecting levels of informal caretaking for persons with serious mental illnesses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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