Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Fredda Blanchard-Fields


Predictors of caregiver psychological well-being, including depression, marital satisfaction, positive affect and negative affect were examined as a function of primary and secondary stress. Measures assessing these outcomes as well as role overload, inter-role conflict and care receiver impairment were administered to 77 female caregivers of dementia patients. A comparison group of 80 females was also included. Results demonstrated that noncaregivers experienced significantly higher positive affect than caregivers. In addition, differential mediating relationships were found between primary and secondary stressors contingent upon the type of outcome examined. More specifically, inter-role conflict mediated the relationship between work overload and both positive and negative affect. Caregiver-specific stressors predicted depression and negative affect but did not predict positive affect or marital satisfaction. Finally, the domain-specific predictor of spouse inter-role conflict predicted the domain-specific outcome of marital satisfaction. Findings were discussed in terms of the caregiver stress model of Leonard Pearlin and his colleagues (Pearlin, Mullan, Semple, & Skaff, 1990) and suggest the multidimensional, dynamic nature of caregiving.