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Adaptive Coping of Older Caregiving Spouses

Audrey Sistler
Social Work
Vol. 34, No. 5 (September 1989), pp. 415-420
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23715368
Page Count: 6
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Adaptive Coping of Older Caregiving Spouses
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Abstract

Differences in coping and subjective well-being among spousal caregivers and noncaregivers was explored. Coping strategies that have been identified as effective in the general population were examined for their usefulness in the caregiving context. The participants, who were 77 older persons, were examined in three contexts: (1) caring for a mentally impaired spouse, (2) caring for a physically impaired spouse, and (3) interacting with a nonimpaired spouse. As expected, noncaregivers had a higher level of well-being than caregivers. Caregivers of the mentally impaired sought more social support and engaged in more wishful thinking than did the other two groups. How ever, these coping strategies did not significantly affect their well-being. Furthermore, problem-solving coping was not significantly related to well-being. These findings challenge the value of social support and problem solving as effective strategies for caregivers, and they highlight the need for further study of caregiving.

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