Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Couples' prior quality of relationship, present attachment, adjustment, and depressive symptoms with early stage Alzheimer's
by Zahn, Shirley J., Ph.D., The Florida State University, 2015, 309; 3705972
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative case study of five couples in which one spouse has Alzheimer's disease in the early stage, and the other spouse is a caregiver, investigated including both spouses in couple interview sessions which included using emotionally focused couple therapy techniques, and how their prior quality of relationship before the onset of Alzheimer's was related to their present attachment, depressive symptoms, and marital adjustment. The couples participated in in-depth couple interviews which included an Oral History Interview (Gottman, 1994) and a semi-structured Interview Guide. They individually completed four instruments: the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS) (Spanier, 1976); the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) (Yesavage, 1983); the Prior Quality of Relationship Scale (PQRS), a composite scale created by Zahn; and the adapted Experiences in Close Relationships-Revised questionnaire (ECR-R) (Fraley, Waller, & Brennan, 2000). The Screen for Caregiver Burden (SCB) (Vitaliano, Russo, Young, Becker, & Maiuro, 1991) was given to the caregiving spouses. The researcher qualitatively analyzed the audiotaped interviews and questionnaires, which all spouses with Alzheimer's were able to complete. All couples reported positive prior quality relationships of 16-63 years, and present continued attachment. All couples reported problems of marital adjustment, and varying depressive symptoms were reported for 2 out of 5 caregivers, and 2 of 5 persons with Alzheimer's. Implications of findings were that couples experiencing early stage Alzheimer's would benefit from couple interviews or therapy to assist with depressive and other symptoms and marital adjustment problems, and that spouses in the early stage of Alzheimer's are able to fully participate in these couple procedures.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Denton, Wayne H.
Commitee: Glueckauf, Robert L., Holtrop, Kendal N., Rehm, Marsha L.
School: The Florida State University
Department: Family & Child Sciences
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 76/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gerontology, Clinical psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Alzheimer's disease, Caregivers, Depression, Spouses
Publication Number: 3705972
ISBN: 978-1-321-79390-1
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