Project: Research project

Project Details


DESCRIPTION (adapted from the application): 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 Institute on Aging: $93,948.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $107,058.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $107,058.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $106,410.00
  • National Institute on Aging: $94,481.00


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