Predicting longitudinal changes in caregiver physical and mental health: a stress process model

Health Psychol. 1998 Mar;17(2):190-8. doi: 10.1037//0278-6133.17.2.190.


Alzheimer's family caregivers (N = 122) reported on physical and mental health, as well as stress process variables, at baseline and at a 1-year follow-up. Hierarchical regression analyses of stress process models revealed that increases in primary stressors (e.g., patient self-care and behavioral problems) did not directly affect changes in the mental and physical health outcome variables. However, analyses of models of direct, mediated, and moderated effects revealed that psychosocial resource variables (appraisals, coping responses, and social support) were related to caregiver outcomes over time through several mechanisms. In particular, benign appraisals of stressors, the use of approach coping, and greater levels of social support were associated with more positive caregiver health outcomes over time.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Alabama
  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Dementia*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Support
  • Stress, Psychological / physiopathology*