Fear of Incompetence in Family Caregivers and Dementia Care Transitions

Anca M. Miron, Christopher L. Groves, Ashley E. Thompson, Susan H. McFadden, Haley R. Bowers, Jordyn M. DeBraal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on interpersonal interaction dynamics in relationships between persons with dementia and their family caregivers has been limited. We examine the role of these dynamics in decisions to transition a family member from home care to congregate care, with a particular focus on the role of fear of incompetence. Fear of incompetence is the fear of being unable to interact, communicate in a meaningful way, or take care of a close family member with dementia. In this study ( N   =  350 family caregivers), perceived negative changes in the family member with dementia predicted increased perceived dependency, which predicted both increased caregiver burden and greater fear of incompetence in caregivers, which, in turn, predicted stronger care transition desire. Strategies should be aimed not only at reducing dependency of the care recipient but also teaching family caregivers interaction skills that decrease their fear of interactional incompetence and thus promote home care continuation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)447-470
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: The first author received funding for this project from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Faculty Development Board (FDR 1140).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2022.


  • care transition
  • caregiver burden
  • dementia
  • dementia family caregiver
  • fear of incompetence
  • interaction skills
  • interpersonal dynamics

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


Dive into the research topics of 'Fear of Incompetence in Family Caregivers and Dementia Care Transitions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this