Publication Date

2019-05-07

Availability

Embargoed

Embargo Period

2021-05-06

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense

2019-04-17

First Committee Member

Amy Weisman de Mamani

Second Committee Member

Edward Rappaport

Third Committee Member

Franklin Foote

Abstract

Prevalence rates for dementia are expected to rise exponentially as the elderly population rises. With this comes a corresponding increase in the number of family members who will become dementia caregivers. Caregivers of people with dementia have been found to experience high rates of mental illness including depression and anxiety. Identifying risk and resiliency factors that relate to caregiver mental health is necessary to develop appropriate interventions to prevent caregiver burnout. The current study explored how family functioning (measured with a latent variable that includes family cohesion, family balance, and family communication), caregiver expressed emotion, and patient symptom severity related to caregiver mental health (measured with a latent variable that includes depression, anxiety, and stress). Participants included a nation-wide sample of 107 dementia caregivers. The following specific hypotheses were tested: lower levels of both 1) expressed emotion and 2) patient symptom severity, and 3) higher levels of family functioning would be related to better caregiver mental health. Results produced a well-fitting model: X2(18) = 14.858, p = .672; CFI = 1.00; RMSEA = .00; SRMR = .037. Moreover, results indicated that better family functioning (Ɣ = -3.54, SE = .1.34, p = .008), lower levels of caregiver expressed emotion (β = .36, SE = .07, p

Keywords

Caregiver Mental Health; Family Cohesion; Expressed Emotion; Dementia; Dementia Symptom Severity

Available for download on Thursday, May 06, 2021

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