Models of Self and Others and Their Relation to Positive and Negative Caregiving Responses

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The burden of providing informal care to a family member can lead to caregiver depression and potentially harmful caregiving behavior. Given the interpersonal nature of caregiving, the relationship between caregivers and care recipients may impact caregiver responses. We applied attachment theory to understanding caregiver depression, and both potentially harmful and exemplary caregiving responses. We present data from 430 caregivers in the Family Relationships in Late Life (FRILL 2) Project, a multisite, longitudinal study of caregiving. Age, gender, and model of self were related to caregiving responses, suggesting that model of self may help identify caregivers at risk for poor responses.

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