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.
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