This study investigated whether transitioning into the role of activities of daily living (ADL) spousal caregiver is associated with increased depressive symptoms for older husbands and wives among a sample of coresiding community-dwelling older couples. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study, we estimated a two-level linear model to examine the association between change in caregiver status and respondents’ depressive symptoms at follow-up, controlling for other factors identified in Pearlin’s stress process model (PSPM). Results indicate that both husbands and wives who become ADL caregivers have more follow-up depressive symptoms than noncaregivers. Furthermore, wives continuing as caregivers have more follow-up depressive symptoms than wives who do not provide care. Finally, the physical health of the spousal caregiver is related to depressive symptoms at follow-up. We conclude with policy and practice implications of these three main findings.
- Pearlin’s stress process model
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Health(social science)
- Geriatrics and Gerontology