The caregiving dyad: Do caregivers' appraisals of caregiving matter for care recipients' health?Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2019 May - Jun; 82:50-60.AG
Caregiving experiences matter for caregivers' own wellbeing, but few studies link caregivers' burden and benefit perceptions with recipient outcomes. Following the stress process model, I prospectively explore how caregivers' experiences shape recipients' mental health. I match US National Health and Aging Trends Study and National Study of Caregivers, employing logistic regression on 781 older adult-informal caregiver dyads. I examine how caregivers' appraisals shape recipients' subsequent depression and anxiety, with caregiver mental health and recipient unmet care need as key covariates. Recipients receiving care from caregivers reporting predominantly benefits are less likely to become depressed than counterparts receiving care from persons reporting predominantly burden. Recipients receiving care from persons reporting benefits even alongside low or moderate burden are also less likely to become anxious. Recipient unmet care need, but not caregiver mental health, is associated with recipient mental health. Improving caregiver conditions may have benefits for both dyad members.