Objective: The authors examine the impact of two caregiving stressors, care receivers' behavior problems (an objective stressor) and caregivers' feelings of overload (a subjective stressor), on three dimensions of caregiver health. Method: The participants were 234 primary caregivers of elderly relatives with dementia living in the community who completed a comprehensive interview about their current care situation, including stressors and health. Results: Higher levels of both objective and subjective stressors were associated with all three dimensions of caregiver health: poorer self-reported health, more negative health behaviors, and greater use of health care services. The association between objective stressors and health was mediated by caregivers' feelings of overload. Conclusions: These findings demonstrate caregivers' vulnerability to the effects of stressors across three dimensions of health and also underscore the importance of subjective appraisals of stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies