Caregiving burden and psychological distress in Chinese spousal caregivers: gender difference in the moderating role of positive aspects of caregiving

Daniel Fu Keung WONG*, Ting Kin NG, Xiao Yu ZHUANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives: This study endeavors to advance the current literature by examining the gender differences in the caregiving experiences and the stress-buffering role of positive aspects of caregiving (PAC) among Chinese spousal caregivers of frail elders in Hong Kong. Method: Forty-nine husband caregivers and 121 wife caregivers of frail elders in Hong Kong (N = 170) responded to the Positive Aspects of Caregiving (PAC) scale, the Zarit Burden Interview (ZBI), the 21-item Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scales (DASS-21), and demographic questions. These spousal caregivers were diverse in age, and their care receivers were diverse in terms of age and health condition. Results: As predicted, there were significant gender differences in the moderating effects of PAC on the relationships of caregiving burden to depression, anxiety, and overall psychological distress. While PAC significantly buffered the effects of caregiving burden on depression, anxiety, and overall psychological distress for wife caregivers, the moderating effects of PAC were not significant for husband caregivers. Unexpectedly, wife caregivers reported lower PAC, higher caregiving burden, and higher psychological distress. Conclusion: As these findings suggest that PAC is lower but more beneficial for Chinese wife caregivers than Chinese husband caregivers, helping professionals are recommended to use strengths-based interventions that target PAC when working with Chinese wife caregivers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)976-983
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Volume23
Issue number8
Early online date21 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Caregiving burden
  • Chinese culture
  • gender
  • positive aspects of caregiving
  • spousal caregivers

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