Neuropsychiatric symptoms and caregiver relationship quality for older Mexican Americans

Phillip A. Cantu, María P. Aranda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: Caregivers play a key role in supporting older Mexican Americans, who are less likely to enter nursing facilities than other racial/ethnic groups in the US. However, there is little research on how Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) affect relationship quality between caregivers and care recipients. Method: Using data from the 2015 wave of the Hispanic Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (H-EPESE) (n = 416) study of older (age 85+) Mexican Americans, we examined relationship quality and NPS with ordered logistic regression. Relationship quality was measured using positive (enjoyment, appreciation) and negative (nerves, argue) assessments. NPS were categorized into hyperactivity, affective, and psychosis symptoms. Results: Hyperactivity symptoms were associated with appreciation, arguing, and nerves. Psychosis symptoms were associated with arguing and nerves. Spousal caregivers were more likely to report arguing and nerves and less likely to report feeling appreciated. Enjoyment assessments were not associated with NPS. Conclusion: Relationship quality is related to behavioral changes in late life. Mexican American caregivers negatively evaluate their relationships, not in response to care tasks per se, but when the older person exhibits behavioral problems. The relationship between NPS and negative relationship assessments may be due to unanticipated behavior changes in late life and stigma around psychiatric symptomatology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)896-903
Number of pages8
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • USA
  • caregiver
  • hispanic
  • relationship quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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