Frequency and difficulty in caregiving among spouses of individuals with cancer: Effects of adult attachment and gender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

52 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

How caregivers relate to care recipients can affect how well care is provided and how much burden is experienced in providing it. We conceptualized the relationship of spousal caregivers via adult attachment theory and examined how attachment qualities of caregivers related to level of caregiving involvement and difficulties in caregiving. Gender differences in the associations were also explored. From participants in the ACS Quality of Life Survey for Caregivers, 400 spousal caregivers provided valid data for the study variables. Findings indicated that frequency of various types of care was a joint function of attachment orientation and gender. In contrast, the difficulty that caregivers experienced in providing care related directly to attachment, without moderation by gender. Our findings suggest that ineffective caregivers of cancer patients, who can be identified by their attachment orientation and/or gender, may benefit from educational programs to improve their caregiving skills and to encourage them to utilize resources from other family members or community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)714-723
Number of pages10
JournalPsycho-Oncology
Volume16
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2007

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caregiving
Spouses
spouse
Caregivers
caregiver
cancer
gender
Neoplasms
educational program
family member
gender-specific factors
quality of life
recipient
Quality of Life
resources
community

Keywords

  • Adult attachment
  • Cancer
  • Caregiving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Cite this

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abstract = "How caregivers relate to care recipients can affect how well care is provided and how much burden is experienced in providing it. We conceptualized the relationship of spousal caregivers via adult attachment theory and examined how attachment qualities of caregivers related to level of caregiving involvement and difficulties in caregiving. Gender differences in the associations were also explored. From participants in the ACS Quality of Life Survey for Caregivers, 400 spousal caregivers provided valid data for the study variables. Findings indicated that frequency of various types of care was a joint function of attachment orientation and gender. In contrast, the difficulty that caregivers experienced in providing care related directly to attachment, without moderation by gender. Our findings suggest that ineffective caregivers of cancer patients, who can be identified by their attachment orientation and/or gender, may benefit from educational programs to improve their caregiving skills and to encourage them to utilize resources from other family members or community.",
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