Long-term Care-giving: A Short-term Longitudinal Examination of the Experiences of Women Caring for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities pp. 73-90
Authors: Michelle Rowbotham, Monica Cuskelly and Annemaree Carroll
Abstract: Most adults with intellectual disabilities are cared for across their life-spans by their families. The processes that link long-term care-giving to the psychological functioning of family care-givers is unclear, as most research is cross-sectional, preventing the study of how care-giving demands, satisfactions, and coping strategy usage impact upon care-giver well-being. Objective: Examine the course of coping and the relationships of caregiving stressors and satisfaction for carers of adults with an intellectual disability. Study group and methods: Four female carers were interviewed for five consecutive months, and questionnaire and interview data collected, to examine whether their appraisals of these variables changed over time. Results: Data revealed direct relationships between care-giving difficulties and satisfactions, as well as evidence that for some individuals there was development of competence in meeting the demands of care-giving as carers aged whereas for others, the demands of care-giving depleted their resources. Conclusion: These results suggest that cross-sectional studies may provide an incomplete picture and may overlook the cumulative impact of stressors, as well as the role of satisfactions and resources, upon care-givers’ well-being.