Pleasurable activities and mood: Differences between Latina and Caucasian dementia family caregivers

Larry W. Thompson, Nancy Solano, Lisa Kinoshita, David W. Coon, Brent Mausbach, Dolores Gallagher-Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Past research has shown that increased pleasurable activity can impact positively on the level of depression in Caucasian patient groups and family caregivers. The present study compared Caucasian and Latina female caregivers on the extent to which they engage in pleasant activities and the relationship between this and level of depression. An abbreviated version of the Older Persons Pleasant Events Scale and the complete Center for Epidemiological Studies - Depression Scale was administered to 257 female caregivers of dementia patients (N = 147 Caucasians; 110 Latinas). Caucasians engaged more frequently in activities pertaining to Social Recognition, Social Intimacy, Reflection, and Nature than Latinas, while Latinas engaged more frequently in activities pertaining to spirituality than Caucasians. There was no difference between the two on Leisure activities. Latinas had higher "obtained pleasure" scores than Caucasians on activities related to spirituality, and Caucasians had higher scores than Latinas on Nature activities. Obtained pleasure was similar for the two groups in other activity categories. Level of obtained pleasure was negatively related to level of depression in both ethnic groups. The results support the value of routinely engaging in pleasurable activities as a useful strategy for coping with feelings of depression and chronic stress of family caregiving. However, the specific activities that are perceived as pleasurable vary among caregivers of different ethnicities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-224
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Mental Health and Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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