Informal and formal support for caregivers of a demented relative: Do gender and kinship make a difference?

Authors

  • Sylvie Cossette MSc, RN,

    Lecturer, Corresponding author
    1. Faculté des sciences infirmières, Université de Montréal
    • Faculté des sciences infirmières, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, succursale centre ville, Montréal (Québec), Canada H3C 3J7
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  • Louise Lévesque MSc, RN,

    Professor
    1. Faculté des sciences infirmières, Université de Montréal and a researcher, Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier Cǒte-des-Neiges, Montréal
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  • Liane Laurin MSc

    1. Statistician, Centre de recherche du Centre hospitalier Cǒte-des-Neiges, Montréal
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Abstract

Gender and kinship were examined with regard to caregivers' use of informal and formal support and to two models of support (substitution or supplementation). Three groups of caregivers of a demented relative living at home–husbands, wives, and adult daughters–were compared on measures of both informal and formal support. The gender hypothesis deals with the similarities among caregivers of the same gender with respect to support. The kinship hypothesis refers to the similarities among caregivers having the same kinship with the carereceiver. The gender hypothesis was confirmed for informal informational support while the kinship hypothesis was supported for informal conflictual support. For most of the comparisons, the three groups of caregivers shared more similarities than differences. The interchangeability between informal and formal support seems to fall under the perspective of kinship because the daughter group is the only one where a model of supplementation was observed. ©1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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