Patterns of Coping among Family Caregivers of Frail Older Adults

I-Fen Lin, Bowling Green State University
Hsueh-Sheng Wu, Bowling Green State University

Using a caregiver study supplemented to the 2004 round of the National Long-Term Care Survey, we examine how family caregivers cope when facing problem behaviors of frail older adults. A latent class analysis of 18 coping items suggests three types of caregivers—who do not cope, who cope passively by focusing on reducing a negative emotional state, and who cope actively by changing the environment or using devices or services. Approximately two-thirds of caregivers do not cope or cope passively when they experience caregiving stress. Caregivers are more likely to cope passively as opposed to not coping when care recipients exhibit more problem behaviors. Adult child caregivers, caregivers with a college degree, and caregivers who care for care recipients with a greater degree of dependency and who experience more disruptive behaviors of care recipients are more prone to seek outside help, compared to their respective counterparts.

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Presented in Session 100: Family Ties and Well-Being over the Life Course