Interpersonal Correlates of Dementia Caregivers' Emotional Support Networks: Considering Family History

Res Aging. 2022 May-Jun;44(5-6):405-413. doi: 10.1177/01640275211026919. Epub 2021 Aug 10.


Caregiving networks of individuals with Alzheimer's disease and related dementias (ADRD) are comprised of family and friends directly involved in caregiving activities and those supporting these activities. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether caregiving-related behaviors and interactions (i.e., uplift, malfeasance, and nonfeasance), kinship tie (i.e., friend, family), and family history of ADRD were associated with caregivers' emotional support networks. Seventy-one caregivers across 30 families provided information about 776 network members. Perceived emotional support and interactions representing uplift, malfeasance, and nonfeasance were assessed. Results indicated that uplift and friendship were associated with increased, whereas nonfeasance was associated with decreased, likelihood of perceived emotional support. Caregivers with a family history of ADRD were particularly more likely to report emotional support from friends and uplifting network members. Findings suggest the need for differential strategies based on families' prior caregiving experience to facilitate positive and minimize negative interactions within caregiving networks.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; caregiving; social networks; social support.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease*
  • Caregivers* / psychology
  • Family / psychology
  • Humans
  • Social Networking