Family involvement in nursing homes: Effects on stress and well-being

Joseph E. Gaugler, K. A. Anderson, S. H. Zarit, L. I. Pearlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


While it is clear that families remain involved in the lives of loved ones following placement in a nursing home, little research has examined whether visiting and the provision of care has effects on the emotional stress and psychological well-being of family members. Utilizing pre-placement and post-placement data from the Caregiver Stress and Coping Study (n = 185) as well as a theoretical framework to delineate the manifestation of caregiver stress (i.e., the stress process model), the goal of this analysis was to determine whether frequency of visits and provision of personal and instrumental activities of daily living assistance following institutionalization were related to post-placement emotional distress, family conflict, and psychological well-being among family members. Following control of a wide array of pre-placement and post-placement covariates, multiple regression models found that visiting was negatively associated with post-placement role overload; moreover, the provision of instrumental activities of daily living help was negatively related to loss of intimate exchange at post-placement. The results suggest that family involvement following institutionalization may operate differently than when in the community, and add to the literature emphasizing the positive implications of family involvement in residential long-term care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-75
Number of pages11
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a National Institute of Mental Health MERIT award (MH–42122) to the third author.

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