Fear of Incompetence in Intergenerational Relationships with a Family Member with Dementia

Anca M. Miron, Ashley E. Thompson, Aaron Bagley, Jessica Anderson, Emma Melotik, Sarah Rowley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Particularly in intergenerational relationships, family members feel they lack the knowledge and skills necessary for successful interaction with their loved ones with dementia, which leads to fear of incompetence. We examined the antecedents and outcomes of fear of incompetence, defined as the fear of being unable to interact, communicate, or take care of a close family member with dementia. Ninety-two participants completed a questionnaire about a family member with dementia. Fear of incompetence was predicted by severity of dementia symptoms and predicted increased negative stereotyping and decreased desired sensory interaction. We offered recommendations for designing effective intergenerational interaction strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-467
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Intergenerational Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Faculty Development Board, FDR 943. [FDR 943]

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis.


  • Fear of incompetence
  • dementia
  • grandchildren–grandparents
  • intergenerational interactions
  • intergenerational relationships
  • perspective taking


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