Daily fluctuation in negative affect for family caregivers of individuals with dementia.
American Psychological Association
OBJECTIVE: The study examined associations of intrinsic fluctuation in daily negative affect (i.e., depression and anger) with adult day service (ADS) use, daily experiences, and other caregiving characteristics. METHODS: This was an 8-day diary of 173 family caregivers of individuals with dementia. Multilevel models with common within-person variance were fit first to show average associations between daily stressors and mean level of daily affect. Then multilevel models with heterogeneous within-person variance were fit to test the hypotheses on associations between ADS use, daily experiences, and intrinsic fluctuation in daily affect. RESULTS: The study showed that, when the sum of ADS days was greater than average, there was a stabilizing effect of ADS use on caregivers' within-person fluctuation in negative affect. Moreover, fewer daily stressors and greater-than-average daily care-related stressors, more positive events, not being a spouse, greater-than-average duration of caregiving, and less-than-average dependency of individuals with dementia on activities of daily living were associated with less fluctuation. Better sleep quality was associated with less intrinsic fluctuation in anger; and younger age and more years of education were associated with less intrinsic fluctuation in daily depression. CONCLUSIONS: Because emotional stability has been argued as an aspect of emotional well-being in the general populations, intrinsic fluctuation of emotional experience was suggested as an outcome of evidence-based interventions for family caregivers.
Liu, Y., Kim, K., Almeida, D. M., and Zarit, S. H. (2015). Daily fluctuation in negative affect for family caregivers of individuals with dementia. Health Psychology, 34, 729-740. doi: 10.1037/hea0000175