Defense Date

2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Steven Danish

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between both self-efficacy for caregiving and personal gain and several variables related to well-being in caregivers (N = 70) of veterans who sustained a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Specifically, the relationship between self-efficacy for caregiving and perceived physical health and the relationship between personal gain related to caregiving and depression and anxiety was examined. The relationship between caregiver personal gain and perceived care recipient behavior was also examined. Exploratory analyses considered kinship and racial/ethnic differences. This was a secondary analysis of pilot data collected at four Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers (PRC) of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. It was a cross-sectional, pen and paper-based survey study mailed to caregivers of non-OEF/OIF veterans who were treated at a PRC for TBI between 2001 and 2008. Results suggest that self-efficacy for caregiving is not associated with subjective health or physical functioning in the caregiver. There was also no direct effect of personal gain associated with caregiving on depression or anxiety. However, perceived burden was found to mediate the relationship between personal gain associated with caregiving and both depression and anxiety. No significant differences were found between Caucasian and non-Caucasian caregivers in number of hours spent providing care, perceived burden, or subjective health. Non-Caucasian caregivers reported significantly higher levels of physical functioning. No differences were found between parental and non-parental caregivers on measures of depression, anxiety, or perceived burden. These findings suggest that interventions for caregivers should focus on helping them find meaning in caregiving and articulate ways in which they have benefitted from caregiving. By helping caregivers highlight the benefits of caregiving, perceived burden may be decreased, which in turn may result in lower depression and anxiety levels.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

April 2012

Included in

Psychology Commons

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