• caregivers;
  • aging;
  • theoretical model


To test the diathesis-stress model for family caregivers, two structural equation models were developed to explain depression measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. A cross-sectional convenience sample of 112 caregivers completed questionnaires to measure burden, personality traits, dysfunctional attitudes, and depression. The final model included direct paths from caregiver burden to autonomy and sociotropy, and indirect paths from burden to depression through sociotropy and autonomy. The final model fit adequately (χ2 [224, N = 112] = 308.60, p < .00; CFI = .951; RMSEA = .058). Levels of burden influenced caregiver depression scores. One pathway to depression was though the personality traits of sociotropy and autonomy; both had a larger influence on depression scores than burden alone. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 33:20–34, 2010