Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 61–72 | Cite as

Psychosocial and Cognitive Health Differences by Caregiver Status Among Older Mexican Americans

  • Angelica P. Herrera
  • Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck
  • Janice D. Crist
  • Matthew Lee Smith
  • Ruth Warre
  • Marcia G. Ory
  • Kyriakos Markides
Original Paper


This study identifies the risk and protective factors associated with informal caregiving by older (≥70 years) Mexican Americans and profiles caregiving arrangements. Overall, a greater number of informal caregivers (n = 92) were married and female. They also had higher physical functioning and better cognition than non-caregivers (n = 1,888) but fewer visited a physician regularly. Informal caregivers also showed an increased risk of depressive symptoms. A third of caregivers spent more than 20 h/day caregiving and the majority (84%) of care recipients were family members. In order to support the efforts of this disproportionately burdened caregiver group, increased social support and healthcare services are needed.


Informal caregiving Depression Cognition Mexican Americans 



Dr. Angelica P. Herrera was supported with funding from the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01MD005894-01; PI: Jacqueline Angel) and the Kellogg Health Scholars Program (P0117943). Drs Angelica Herrera and Carolyn Mendez-Luck were supported by funding from the University of California, Los Angeles, Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research/Center for Health Improvement of Minority Elderly (RCMAR/CHIME) under National Institute on Aging (NIA) Grant P30-AG02-1684. Dr. Mendez-Luck was partly supported by the NIA Grant 1K01AG033122-01A1. Findings do not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institute on Aging or the National Institute of Mental Health. The authors also wish to thank the following individuals for their contributions: Drs. Ron Hays, Honghu Liu, and Kristen Peek for their review and input with the study design and analysis; Laura Ray for help with preparing the data; and Lisette Sanchez and Otila Martinez for assistance with research and manuscript preparation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelica P. Herrera
    • 1
  • Carolyn A. Mendez-Luck
    • 1
    • 2
  • Janice D. Crist
    • 3
  • Matthew Lee Smith
    • 4
    • 5
  • Ruth Warre
    • 1
  • Marcia G. Ory
    • 5
  • Kyriakos Markides
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public HealthUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.College of Public Health and Human SciencesOregon State UniversityCorvallisUSA
  3. 3.College of NursingUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, College of Public HealthThe University of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  5. 5.Department of Social and Behavioral Health, School of Rural Public HealthTexas A&M Health Science CenterCollege StationUSA
  6. 6.Division of Sociomedical Sciences, Department of Preventive Medicine and Community HealthUniversity of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

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