Dyadic associations between perceived social support and psychological well-being in caregivers and older care recipients

Giulia Ferraris, Oliver Fisher, Giovanni Lamura, Paolo Fabbietti, Cristina Gagliardi, Mariët Hagedoorn

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Caregiving can be burdensome for both family caregivers and older care recipients (i.e., adults 75 years or older with care needs). This study aimed to determine dyadic associations between caregivers' and care recipients' perceived social support from others (e.g., family and friends) and psychological well-being as a dyad. Caregivers and care recipients (N = 215 dyads) in this cross-sectional study were recruited by pensioner trade unions in Italy. Both members of the dyad completed the World Health Organization-Five Well-Being Index (WHO-5). Social support was measured with the Carers of Older People in Europe Index for caregivers and the Oslo-3 Scale for care recipients. Dyadic data were analyzed with the actor-partner interdependence model. Caregivers' and care recipients' well-being was moderately correlated (r = 0.41, p < .01), with care recipients reporting significant lower well-being (MCR = 30.95 vs. MCG = 46.45). Social support perceived by the caregivers was positively associated with their own well-being (actor effect; β = 3.31, p < .001) and with the care recipients' well-being (partner effect; β = 0.58, p < .001). No significant care recipient actor and partner effects were detected. This study provided evidence on crossover effects between social support and well-being in caregiving dyads. Findings have implications for research and clinical practice in familial aged care. Family interventions targeted at the caregivers' broader social environment might enhance both dyad members' well-being. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1397-1406
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Family Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2022

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