Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION The objective of this MRSDAA is for Dr. Victoria Mitrani, an Hispanic woman, to develop a career as an independent behavioral scientist in dementia caregiving research with aging families. This award would free Dr. Mitrani from most of her clinical and administrative duties and permit her to: (1) conduct a research study to develop a measurement model for family risk/protective factors for dementia caregivers, and test the usefulness of this model in predicting caregiver distress; and (2) develop the requisite skills to become an independent behavioral scientist. The proposed research capitalizes on a large-scale (N=216 families) longitudinal (four time points) data set collected as part of a family-based intervention trial to prevent and alleviate distress in European American and Cuban American dementia caregivers. Considerable clinical experience with the subject sample suggests that, family interactional functioning, including specific patterns of family interaction, e.g., developmental adjustment, caregiving leadership, and conflict management, place dementia caregivers at increased risk for or protect them from distress, e.g, burden, depression, and anxiety. A two stage study is proposed. Stage one develops a measurement model for family interactional functioning and examines its relationship to caregiver distress in a cross- section design. Stage two uses the longitudinal data to establish the malleability of family interactional functioning, and examine the relationship between changes in family interactional functioning and changes in caregiver distress. Findings from this study will shed light on potentially important, yet hitherto unstudied, family interactional risk/protective factors for caregiver distress. These findings will be used to generate theory-driven, culturally informed family interventions that are tailored for dementia caregivers, and will form the basis for an independent (RO1) application. The proposed career development plan includes a program of study organized around mentoring from senior scientists in the fields of aging and family intervention research, and formal courses. The UM s Center for Family Studies (CFS) and Center for Adult Development and Aging (CADA) provide an ideal setting for the proposed plan. The plan will allow the candidate to bridge the fields of family intervention science and dementia caregiving, two areas of research that have not been sufficiently integrated.
Effective start/end date3/15/001/31/05


  • National Institutes of Health: $94,481.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $107,058.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $107,058.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $106,410.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $93,948.00


  • Medicine(all)


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