College-Age Adults’ Religiosity, Family Functioning and Values, and Willingness to Provide Care for a Relative With a Chronic Health Condition

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Purpose/Objective: The population of adults age 65 and older is increasing at a faster rate than the rest of the U.S. population. As such, older adults, particularly those with chronic health conditions and disabilities, will require informal care from today’s college-age adults. At present, there is no research examining factors predicting college-age individuals’ willingness to provide care for a family member with a chronic condition. The purpose of this study was to examine the pattern of associations among college-age adults’ religiosity, family functioning, family values, and willingness to provide care for a family member with a chronic health condition. Research Method/Design: A sample of 330 undergraduate students from a major public research university completed an online survey with measures assessing these constructs. Four different structural equation models were tested. Results: The fourth model revealed good fit indices and was therefore retained. This model found that religiosity and family values were positively and uniquely associated with willingness to provide care. Family functioning yielded a significant indirect effect through family values. Conclusions/Implications: The current study findings suggest religiosity, family functioning, and family values play a role in willingness to provide care, and thus, future researchers should target these constructs for intervention-based studies.

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