|Sense of coherence, relational functioning and concepts of health in adult daughter caregivers as compared with an age cohort of women|
Theresa M. Graf
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Tags: Adult children, Attitudes, Care of the sick, Caregivers, Health aspects, Health risk assessment, Psychological aspects, psychology
Sense of Coherence, Relational Functioning and Concepts of Health in Adult Daughter Caregivers as Compared with an Age Cohort of Women
Theresa M. Graf
The purpose of this study was to examine the selected factors of sense of coherence, relational functioning and concepts of health in adult daughter caregivers as compared to an age cohort of women. The sample consisted of 150 adult daughter caregivers and an age cohort of 125 women over 40 years of age who were not impaired by cognitive deficits. A convenience sample was obtained from those who responded to advertisements in a Long Island, New York shopperĘs guide, in church and synagogue bulletins, and to personal contact from this investigator.
Three instruments were used to measure the selected variables: the Orientation to Life Questionnaire (Antonovsky, 1987) assessed sense of coherence; the Personal Resource Questionnaire (Brandy and Weinert, 1985) measured relational functioning; and LaffreyĘs Health Conception Scale, (1986) evaluated the four dimensions of health classified as clinical, functional, adaptive and eudaimonistic.
The findings of this study indicate that sense of coherence is a good predictor of eudaimonistic health ([symbol] .43, p < .005). Secondly, caregivers had lower sense of coherence (p < .001) and relational functioning scores (p < .05) than non-caregivers. Self-reported existing health problems was the best predictor of clinical health. A serendipitous finding was that non-caregivers and previous caregivers were more similar to each other on the variable sense of coherence than either group was to current caregivers.
This study appears to be unique in its comparison of cohorts of caregivers to non-caregivers. Future studies can build on the findings in this research of parental caregivers through longitudinal designs that measure sense of coherence during and after the caregiving experience. Since the subjects in this study were predominantly middle class suburban Caucasians, cross cultural studies and studies including women of lower socioeconomic status residing in rural and inner city areas are recommended.