Defense Date

2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Joseph Dzierzewski

Second Advisor

Dr. Patricia Kinser

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Bodnar-Deren

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kirk Warren Brown

Fifth Advisor

Dr. David Chester

Abstract

As the United States population continues to age, the number of older adults with dementia is projected to rise. Much of the care for those with dementia is provided by unpaid, informal caregivers who are typically family members. Unfortunately, these informal caregivers express significantly higher levels of negative psychological and physical health outcomes compared to non-caregivers. One potential pathway for improving caregiver outcomes may be through increased mindfulness. Using a two-week, online-based mindfulness training program and a structurally equivalent cognitive reappraisal training program, study aims were to: 1.) investigate the acceptability and feasibility of using an online intervention format for caregivers, and 2.) explore preliminary findings of potential trends for the impact of mindfulness and reappraisal training for well-being, sleep, and stress outcomes in caregivers. Results suggested some positive trends for caregiver outcomes following either an online mindfulness or an online reappraisal training program. For several participants in the mindfulness condition, clinically meaningful reductions in depression and insomnia symptoms were exhibited. Future work should consider refining the training programs to be better suited to the needs of older adult dementia caregivers prior to large-scale efficacy trials.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

12-4-2020

Available for download on Wednesday, December 03, 2025

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