Modeling caregiver adaptation over time: The longitudinal impact of behavior problems

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

168 Scopus citations


Although cross-sectional research has established the link between care demands and various indicators of caregiver adaptation, few studies have examined the impact of care recipients' problematic behavior over time. The present analysis determines the importance of behavior problems when predicting rates of change in subjective stressors (role overload and role captivity) and depression. Using 4-wave longitudinal data (N = 137) on dementia caregivers, the authors fit individual growth curve models for care demands (i.e., behavior problems, activities of daily living dependencies, and cognitive impairment), subjective stressors, and depression. Subsequent structural equation models found that increases in behavior problems were most likely to predict increases in role overload. The findings emphasize the deleterious long-term impact of behavior problems on individuals' emotional adaptation to caregiving.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-450
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000


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