Influence of caregiver burden on the association between daily fluctuations in pleasant activities and mood: A daily diary analysis

Behav Res Ther. 2011 Jan;49(1):74-9. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2010.11.004. Epub 2010 Nov 22.


Much research has focused on behavioral activation and its effect on depression, but less is known about the effects of leisure activities on the two distinct affective domains of depression: positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA). Furthermore, individual factors (i.e., stress level) may moderate the impact of behavioral activation on affect. The present study utilized a daily diary approach to examine the moderating effect of stress on the relationship between leisure satisfaction and both PA and NA. Twenty-five dementia caregivers completed activity and affect measures four times daily for 14 days. Results were analyzed using multilevel modeling, an approach that considers intra-individual differences in activity and affect over time. Results supported the hypothesis that caregivers with higher burden display a stronger association between leisure satisfaction and affect than caregivers with lower burden. Specifically, caregivers with higher burden had a stronger positive relationship between leisure satisfaction and PA and a stronger negative relationship between leisure satisfaction and NA. These findings suggest that screening caregivers for level of burden may help identify those most likely to benefit from behavioral interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Affect*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leisure Activities / psychology*
  • Male
  • Medical Records / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*