Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Human Development and Family Studies

Committee Chair(s)

Elizabeth B. Fauth


Elizabeth B. Fauth


Michael E. Levin


Yin Liu


Kay Bradford


Ty B. Aller


Family caregivers for people with dementia are a resilient population operating under stressful circumstances that can put them at risk of multiple negative outcomes. Existing interventions may be difficult for family caregivers to access due to time and transportation constraints; an alternative is online, self-guided interventions that caregivers can access from their own homes. The purpose of this dissertation is to evaluate the impact of ACT for Caregivers, a six session online, self-guided program based on the principles of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Participants had an average age of 61.93 (SD = 13.69), had been caregiving for an average of 4.69 years (SD = 4.74), and were primarily female (84.1%) and White (87.7%). Fifty-four percent were spousal caregivers and fifty three percent lived in the Mountain time zone. Both statistical data at three time points (n = 113 family caregivers) and semi-structured interviews at two time points (n = 28 family caregivers) were used to examine the impact of the program on multiple outcomes, including stress reaction to symptoms of dementia, burdensomeness of caregiving, positive aspects of caregiving, quality of life, depressive symptoms, sleep quality, and psychological flexibility. Quantitative results demonstrated improvement in all outcomes during the intervention that was maintained or increased at follow-up. Qualitative results converged with the quantitative results and highlighted common aspects of change across outcomes. Results suggest that the program is a promising avenue for intervention with family caregivers.