Depressive symptoms of caregiving women in midlife: the role of physical health

J Women Aging. 2005;17(1-2):115-27. doi: 10.1300/J074v17n01_09.


This research examined the relationships between providing assistance to aging family members, caregivers' age, caregivers' perceptions of their physical health, and caregivers' depressive symptoms. Several alternative hypotheses were examined. Longitudinal data from 1,898 women from the 1992 and 2000 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) were used. Results indicate a reciprocal relationship between depression and physical health. These processes were examined using a path analysis. Although the evidence only supported one of the hypotheses, this study clearly demonstrated the importance of physical health for the psychological well-being of women in midlife.

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Middle Aged
  • United States