Perceived control, coping, and expressed burden among spouses of suspected dementia patients: Analysis of the goodness-of-fit hypothesis

Norm O'Rourke, Philippe Cappeliez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The goodness-of-fit hypothesis contends that distress results due to incongruence between choice of coping strategies and perceived ability to change stressful stimuli. Goal-directed or active coping responses are believed to be most efficacious when the individual believes s/he can change or control perceived threats (i.e., problem-focused coping). Instances in which stressors must be accepted, however, would dictate reliance upon strategies to regulate distress (i.e., emotion-focused coping). Inconsistent support for this facet of Lazarus and Folkman's cognitive phenomenological model was obtained in this study of spouses of suspected dementia patients. The distinction between emotion- and problem-focused coping appears less germane than overall coping efforts relative to perceived control and caregiver burden. In addition, perceived ability to control dementia-related stressors appears to be somewhat independent of coping by caregivers. These findings are discussed in terms of the unique and chronic demands faced by spouses of persons with dementia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-392
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal on Aging
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Burden
  • Caregivers
  • Control
  • Coping

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