Explaining gender differences in caregiver distress: the roles of emotional attentiveness and coping styles

Psychol Aging. 1994 Dec;9(4):513-9. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.9.4.513.


In previous studies, female caregivers generally reported more distress than did male caregivers. This study assesses the validity of 2 explanations of this gender difference. The 1st model hypothesizes that male caregivers are less likely to be attentive to their emotions and, therefore, fail to recognize and report distress. The 2nd model hypothesizes that women are socialized to use coping styles that are less effective for alleviating distress. The data partially supported both explanations. These results support the importance of seeking explanations for observed gender differences.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological*
  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Attention*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Dementia / psychology*
  • Depression / psychology
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Personality Assessment
  • Problem Solving
  • Socialization
  • Spouses / psychology*