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Ageing International

, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 109–127 | Cite as

Psychosocial Factors Among Chinese American Women Dementia Caregivers and their Association with Salivary Cortisol: Results of an Exploratory Study

  • Jason M. Holland
  • Larry W. Thompson
  • Marian Tzuang
  • Dolores Gallagher-Thompson
Article

Abstract

Little is known about Chinese American dementia caregivers’ psychological and physical response to caregiving. In the present study, descriptive information is presented for a sample of 47 Chinese American dementia caregivers on a variety of psychosocial measures, including measures of depressive symptoms, overall perceived stress, stress specific to caregiving, coping, positive aspects of caregiving, caregiving self-efficacy, and belief in Asian values. Additionally, the association between these psychosocial factors and diurnal cortisol patterns is examined. Generally speaking, these caregivers were found to report significant levels of distress (e.g., depressive symptoms) but also showed indications of resiliency, as suggested by their high levels of self-efficacy, positive caregiving experiences, and problem solving. Stronger beliefs in Asian values were associated with more normal cortisol patterns, less depressive symptoms, and greater self-efficacy, highlighting the salience of culture in shaping the caregiving experience of Chinese Americans.

Keywords

Cortisol Health Caregiver stress Chinese-Americans Cultural values 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Health Care Evaluation (152-MPD), VA Palo Alto Health Care SystemStanford University School of MedicineMenlo ParkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral SciencesStanford University School of MedicinePalo AltoUSA

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