Psychological resilience predicts depressive symptoms among spouses of persons with Alzheimer disease over time

Norm O'Rourke, Anthony L. Kupferschmidt, Amy Claxton, Julianna Z. Smith, Neena Chappell, B. Lynn Beattie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the three facets of psychological resilience (i.e., perceived control, commitment to living, challenge versus stability) as predictors of depressive symptoms over time among spousal caregivers of persons with Alzheimer disease; these resilience factors were considered over and above dementia-related and socio-demographic control variables. A sample of 105 cohabiting spouses of persons diagnosed with probable or possible Alzheimer disease was recruited for this study. Multilevel modeling enabled us to examine baseline resilience, and the direction and magnitude of change in resilience over time, as distinct predictors of depressive symptoms one year later, and change in depressive symptoms between points of measurement. Both Time 1 control and challenge predicted lower levels of depressive symptoms one year later; furthermore, an increase in challenge over this interval predicted lower Time 2 depressive symptoms. In contrast, commitment did not emerge as a statistically significant predictor of caregiver depression. Findings of this study provide general support for the stress process model of caregiving; in particular, the central role of intra-psychic factors as significant predictors of depressive symptoms over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)984-993
Number of pages10
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume14
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Alzheimer disease
  • depressive symptoms
  • informal care
  • psychological resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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