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Spousal Caregiving Effects on Depression: A Structural Equation Model Approach (306719)*Xian Elaine Ye, Smith College
Ziwei Crystal Zang, Smith College
Keywords: Structural Equation Model, Depression, Dyads, Caregiving
Research has shown that patients’ cognitive decline and helper’s depression are highly correlated, no research has used the structural equation model to investigate whether the association would be different by the gender of caregivers and respondents.
We used data from the Health and Retirement Study in 2014 (N=808) and employed the Multigroup Structural Equation Model. Two types of helper-receiver dyads were measured: female caring male spouses, and male caring female spouses. We included care recipients who experienced difficulty in daily living activities.
We found different patterns of relationships among cognition, daily activities, health condition, and depression (CES-D score) in husbands and wives. In addition to the actor-actor effects, we identified the actor-partner effect. Female helpers’ self-evaluated health condition affected male respondents’ depression, but not vise versa. The more female spouses’ health condition deteriorated, the worse the depression that the male respondents experienced (p< .05, ß=0.422). Health professionals should be aware of the different health risks for males and females.