Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Changes in emotional well -being and self-perceived physical health over time among African American and White male caregivers of older adults
by Durkin, Daniel W., Ph.D., The University of Alabama, 2010, 167; 3423015
Abstract (Summary)

This study is a longitudinal, secondary data analysis of the Family Relations in Late Life (FRILL) 2 study. Using the Pearlin stress process model (SPM) as a guide, the purpose of this study was to test whether there was overall change and/or significant individual variability in emotional well-being and self-perceived physical health over 36 months among African American and White male caregivers of older adults living in the community.

A two-level Hierarchical Linear Model (HLM) was used to predict individual changes over time for each of the five outcome variables (anger, anxiety, depressed affect, resentment, and self-perceived physical health) and examined the influence of race and constructs suggested by the Pearlin SPM among male caregivers.

Race was not a significant predictor of any of the outcome variables. This finding suggests that African American and White male caregivers may be similar in their emotional and physical response to the demands of caregiving. Emotional well-being and health also appear to remain relatively stable over time. An examination of the social context appears to be important to understanding the male caregiving experience and how it changes over time.

The quality of the pre-illness relationship was a significant predictor of change over time for every outcome except anger and depression. Caregivers who reported a higher quality pre-illness relationship reported less anxiety and resentment and better self-perceived health over time. Activity restriction was a significant predictor of changes in time for emotional well-being but not health. Caregivers who reported more activity restriction also reported more anger, anxiety, depressed affect, and resentment over time. Social support was a significant predictor of two emotional well-being outcomes. Caregivers who reported greater social support reported less depressed affect and resentment over time. These findings support previous findings that an increased sense of social isolation and lack of support from family and friends contributes to negative emotional well-being. Further, the findings suggest that these deficits may have a cumulative effect over time for both African American and White male caregivers. Findings from this study may be used to develop programs and interventions tailored to meet the needs of male caregivers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roff, Lucinda L.
Commitee: Allen, Rebecca S., DeCoster, Jamie, Kosberg, Jordan I., Martin, Shadi S.
School: The University of Alabama
Department: Social Work
School Location: United States -- Alabama
Source: DAI-A 71/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Gerontology, Social work, Gender studies
Keywords: Caregiving, Emotional well-being, Gender, Health, Male caregiver, Older adult, Race
Publication Number: 3423015
ISBN: 978-1-124-23343-7
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