The Effects of Help Patterns on the Mental Health of Spouse Caregivers

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47 Scopus citations


Investigated were the patterns of task assistance and social support received by 315 people who were the primary caregivers to spouses suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Despite the fact that spouse caregivers themselves are old and frail, they continue to provide the bulk of care required by their impaired partner. When help is forthcoming from any source, it is minimal. Contrary to the hypothesis that back-up sources of support or confidants should buffer the primary caregiver from negative mental health effects, there was no relationship between existence of either task support or social support and mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)57-71
Number of pages15
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1990
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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