Perceived Benefits of Caregiving

Construct: Perceived benefits of caregiving

Description of Measure: While caregiving is often highly stressful, many caregivers report that caring for a loved one has positive aspects. Caregivers may report that caregiving gives their lives meaning, produces pride in their successes as caregivers, and is gratifying in allowing them to give Caregiving benefitsback to someone else. Folkman & Moskovitz (2000) have noted that benefit-finding can be an important way of coping with stress, contributing to “meaning-based coping”, and not just adopting “rose-colored glasses.” The Perceived Benefits of Caregiving Scale includes 11 items, and was developed by Beach, Schulz, Yee, & Jackson (2000). Response options that have been used include a Yes/No format, and a 5-point Agree/Disagree scale. Alpha coefficients of over .7 have been reported for both formats of the scale. Items ask caregivers whether their experiences as caregivers have, for example, “given more meaning to your life” and “made you feel important.”

Perceived benefits of caregiving have been found to be associated with improved caregiver adaptation during dementia caregiving, end-of-life caregiving (Haley et al., 2003), and bereavement (Boerner, Schulz, & Horowitz, 2004). One recent study of dementia caregivers found that finding benefits from caregiving predicted a better response to a caregiver intervention over a 12-month period (Hilgeman, Allen, DeCoster, & Burgio, 2007).

References

Beach, S. R., Schulz, J. L., Yee, J. L., & Jackson, S. (2000). Negative and positive health effects of caring for a disabled spouse: longitudinal findings from the Caregiver Health Effects Study. Psychology and Aging, 15, 42–53.

Boerner, K., Schulz, R., & Horowitz, A. (2004). Positive aspects of caregiving and adaptation to bereavement. Psychology and Aging, 19, 668-675.

Folkman, S., & Moskowitz, J. T. (2000). Positive affect and the other side of coping. American Psychologist, 55, 647-654.

Haley, W.E., LaMonde, L.A., Han, B., Burton, A.M., & Schonwetter, R. (2003). Predictors of depression and life satisfaction among spousal caregivers in hospice: Application of a stress process model. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 6,215-224.

Hilgeman, M. M., Allen, R. S., DeCoster, J., & Burgio, L.D. (2007). Positive aspects of caregiving as a moderator of treatment outcome over 12 months. Psychology and Aging, 22, 361–371.