Reflections on Dementia-Related Stigma and Direct Support Seeking by Family Caregivers as Mediating Associations Between Caregiver Stress, Burden, and Well-Being

Karen Schlag, Anita Vangelisti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The demanding nature of caring for relatives with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) can lead to family caregiver burden and poor health. The stigmatization of people with ADRD can also impact caregivers’ stress, while their support-seeking strategies may mitigate negative impacts of burden on their health. To examine hypothesized relationships, the present study considered whether different dimensions of ADRD family stigma influenced the association between a care recipient’s behavioral symptoms and their family caregiver’s perceived burden and if direct support seeking explained a connection between caregiver burden and well-being. Family caregivers (n = 375) completed a Qualtrics survey. Path analysis revealed ADRD behavioral symptoms predicted both caregiver and layperson forms of stigma. Layperson stigma also intervened between behavioral symptoms and caregiver burden. Direct support seeking mediated the association between caregiver burden and well-being. Findings underscore the utility of including stigma within ADRD caregiver stress models and studying caregiver health from network and communication perspectives.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalHealth Communication
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 24 2023

Keywords

  • Dementia
  • family caregiving
  • family stigma
  • direct support seeking
  • social network

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