The Gerontologist, Vol 36, Issue 1 42-53, Copyright © 1996 by The Gerontological Society of America
Between stressors and outcomes: can we simplify caregiving process variables?
Research School of the Social Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra.
Lawton, Kleban, Moss, Rovine & Glicksman's (1989) construction of
caregiving appraisal is examined through a principal components analysis
and varimax rotation of a data set based on in-depth quantitative
interviews with 144 caregivers. Five caregiving appraisal dimensions were
identified. Two dealt specifically with the provision of care: "task load
caregiving" and "dysfunctional caregiving." The remaining three were
primarily concerned with social supportiveness: "intimacy and love,"
"social captivity," and "social distance." "Dysfunctional caregiving" was
the only type of appraisal that had significant bivariate relationships
with poor mental health, low psychological well-being and subsequent
institutionalization. A sixth dimension identified in this analysis, "inner
strength and efficacy," represented psychological resources. Its
independence from the appraisal measures supports Lawton et al.'s (1989)
assumption that resources and appraisals can be measured separately. In
contrast, social resources are better conceptualized as an integral part of