Age is but a Number: Investigating the Relationship between Caregiver Burden and Subjective Aspects of Aging
The caregiving experience impacts many aspects of life for family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) The psychological, physical, emotional, and financial toll of caregiving often results in caregiver burden. With all of these different impacts on life, it can be assumed that the subjective aging process is also affected by caregiving. The purpose of this study was to investigate how subjective aging is related to caregiver burden in family caregivers for individuals with ADRD. This study set out to answer three questions: 1) how is caregiver burden associated with subjective aging? 2) are more negative subjective aging ideals predictive of increased caregiver burden? and 3) how do caregivers and non-caregivers differ in their subjective aging experience? Participants (N = 185) completed a survey assessing caregiver burden and several different aspects of subjective aging, including subjective age, subjective well-being, subjective memory, attitudes toward aging, and aging stereotype endorsement. Results indicated caregiver burden was moderately associated with and predicted by subjective age, subjective well-being, and attitudes toward own aging (ATOA), in that increased levels of caregiver burden were related to increased subjective age ratings, decreased subjective well-being, and more negative ATOA. Furthermore, caregivers reported significantly more subjective memory complaints (SMCs), older subjective age, and overidentified normal symptoms of aging as symptoms of mild Alzheimer’s disease more often than non-caregivers. These findings suggest that interventions related to subjective aging may be effective in mitigating caregiver burden.
Caregiver burden, Subjective age, Subjective aging
Sigler, K. (2021). Age is but a number: Investigating the relationship between caregiver burden and subjective aspects of aging (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.