The relationship between caregiving self-efficacy and depressive symptoms in dementia family caregivers

Aging Ment Health. 2006 Mar;10(2):79-86. doi: 10.1080/13607860500310658.

Abstract

The present study was intended to replicate the findings of Steffen et al. (2002) of a negative relationship between caregiving self-efficacy and depressive symptoms among family dementia caregivers. Female family caregivers (N=74) of community-dwelling individuals diagnosed with dementia completed a telephone interview and self-report assessment packet that included measures of caregiving self-efficacy and depressive symptoms. There was a direct negative relationship between caregiving self-efficacy and depressive symptoms after controlling for objective stressors. There was no support, however, for the hypothesis that caregiving self-efficacy would operate as a moderator, such that the relationship between objective stressors (cognitive impairment and behavior problems) and caregivers' depressive symptoms would be strongest for caregivers reporting lower levels of self-efficacy. The results of this study suggest that caregiving self-efficacy has a strong, direct relationship with depressed symptoms for dementia family caregivers. Longitudinal research is needed to determine if it is an appropriate focus of future intervention research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Dementia*
  • Depression*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Midwestern United States
  • Self Efficacy*