Personal orientation as a predictor of caregiver strain
Building on the Stress-Process model, developed by Pearlin and colleagues (1990), we examined how Personal Orientation affects the relationship between Primary Care-Related stressors and Primary Appraisal stressors for caregivers. What is unique to this study is the addition of pre-existing Personal Orientation variables, and the development of a multidimensional construct of Primary Appraisal stressors, or the caregiver's evaluation of caregiving. Drawing from a longitudinal study, 245 primary caregivers of relatives with dementia were interviewed. The measurement model included three measures of Primary Care-Related stressors. ADL impairment, memory problems and behavior problems. Two dimensions of Primary Appraisal: (1) Time and Energy Strain and (2) Emotional Strain, were created and served as criterion variables. Two aspects of Personal Orientation: (1) Competence and (2) Commitment in the caregiving relationship, were also included. Multivariate regression analyses revealed different predictors for each Appraisal stressor. Time and Energy Strain was associated with Commitment, Competence, and ADLs, whereas Emotional Strain was related to Commitment, Competence, and Behavior Problems. Care-Related stressors and Personal Orientation simultaneously contributed to the perception of caregiver strain. These findings suggest that Personal Orientation in caregiving may be an important contextual factor when examining the relationship between Care-Related stressors and caregiver Appraisals of strain.