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Family Conflict as a Mediator of Caregiver Strain*

Authors

  • Andrew Scharlach,

    Corresponding author
      **Andrew Scharlach is Kleiner Professor of Aging in the School of Social Welfare at University of California, Berkeley, 120 Haviland, Berkeley, CA 94720-7400 (Scharlach@berkeley.edu).
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  • Wei Li,

    Corresponding author
      Wei Li is a Quantitative Research Analyst in the Center for Responsible Lending, 302 W Main Street, Durham, NC 27701 (wei.li@responsiblelending.org).
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  • Tapashi B. Dalvi

    Corresponding author
      Tapashi B. Dalvi is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at University of California, Berkeley, 140 Warren Street, Berkeley, CA 94720 (tapashi@berkeley.edu).
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  • *

    This research was conducted with support from the California Department of Aging and the Kleiner Family Foundation. The authors are grateful to Teresa Dal Santo for her assistance with all aspects of this project.

**Andrew Scharlach is Kleiner Professor of Aging in the School of Social Welfare at University of California, Berkeley, 120 Haviland, Berkeley, CA 94720-7400 (Scharlach@berkeley.edu).

Wei Li is a Quantitative Research Analyst in the Center for Responsible Lending, 302 W Main Street, Durham, NC 27701 (wei.li@responsiblelending.org).

Tapashi B. Dalvi is a Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Epidemiology at University of California, Berkeley, 140 Warren Street, Berkeley, CA 94720 (tapashi@berkeley.edu).

Abstract

Abstract: The present study used structural equation modeling to examine the potential mediating effect of family conflict on caregiver strain in a randomly drawn household sample of 650 adults with primary care responsibility for an adult age 50 or older with a mental disability. Caregiver strain was directly influenced by the conflict, disagreements, and hardships experienced by the caregiver’s family. Specifically, family conflict was found to mediate the impact of care recipient mental impairment and caregiver educational level on caregiver strain, and mediate partially the impact of caregiver income and caregiver-care recipient relationship. Findings suggest the importance of considering family-centered approaches when designing interventions to assist family caregivers.

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