Posttraumatic Growth and Subjective Well-Being among Caregivers of Chronic Patients: A Preliminary Study
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- Hamama, L. & Sharon, M. J Happiness Stud (2013) 14: 1717. doi:10.1007/s10902-012-9405-8
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This preliminary study focused on positive phenomena among Israeli family caregivers (spouse, adult child, or parent) of patients with chronic illness hospitalized in a medical rehabilitation hospital. We investigated these caregivers’ posttraumatic growth (PTG) and subjective well-being (positive and negative emotions, life satisfaction), and their associations with the demographic and illness characteristics of the caregivers and patients, respectively. Participants included 74 adult primary caregivers: 28 were the patient’s spouse; 21 were the patient’s child; and 25 were the patient’s parent. Caregivers completed four self-report questionnaires. No significant association emerged between caregivers’ PTG and their negative affect or life satisfaction. Nevertheless, caregivers’ positive affect correlated with their PTG and also predicted it. Moreover, different patterns emerged for the caregiver subgroups (spouse, adult child, or parent): Patients’ children reported lower negative affect and greater life satisfaction than patients’ parents or spouses. Various explanations were discussed, alongside implications for giving recognition and assistance from the medical system to patients’ caregivers.