Family involvement following institutionalization: Modeling nursing home visits over time

Joseph E. Gaugler, Steven H. Zarit, Leonard I. Pearlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Gerontological research has emphasized family members' continued involvement in the lives of loved ones following institutionalization. However, many of these studies are cross-sectional in design and do not ascertain how family members' visits change over time. The present study utilized a growth curve analysis to examine preplacement and postplacement predictors of nursing home visits over a two-year period among a sample of 65 caregivers of dementia patients. Intraindividual patterns of change suggested considerable heterogeneity in family visits. Several variables were also significantly predictive (p < .05) of change in nursing home visits. Spousal caregivers were more likely to report increased visits. Care recipients with greater cognitive impairment following institutionalization experienced increased visits. Caregivers who perceived respect and support from their social network following institutionalization also reported increased visits over the two-year study period. Caregivers who engaged in socially restorative activities after institutionalization reported decreases in visits. The findings provide a more refined understanding of the long-term involvement process following institutionalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-117
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


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