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A Path Analysis of Caregiving the Elderly: Voluntariness as a Variable of Role Assumption

Description: Structural equation modeling was utilized in studying the voluntariness of the assumption of caregiving status. A model hypothesizing the stress flow that occurs when assuming a new life schema was presented. Utilizing three groups of caregiving populations, Home Caregivers, Intermediate Care Facility Aides, and Intensive Care Units and Emergency Room Nurses (N = 66), measures were administered to determine the voluntariness of the assumption of the role of caregiver. Path analysis and causal interpretation were utilized to determine outcomes. The involuntary assumption of the role of caretaker was shown to significantly affect depression and burnout rates negatively when perceived feelings of burden were high. When caretaker age was greater upon assumption of the role, self-esteem was low and family support was perceived to be lacking. When the role of caretaker is assumed on a voluntary basis and support from outside sources is perceived as helpful (i.e., social or financial support from the family), job stress and the subjective manageability of the symptoms were viewed as manageable. Implications for those assuming the role of caretaker with the elderly were examined, and recommendations for further training and interventions within the caretaker population were offered.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Todd, John B. (John Bruce)
Partner: UNT Libraries