Testing a theoretical model of the stress process in Alzheimer's caregivers with race as a moderator

Michelle M. Hilgeman, Daniel W. Durkin, Fei Sun, Jamie Decoster, Rebecca S. Allen, Dolores Gallagher-Thompson, Louis D. Burgio

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    60 Scopus citations


    Purpose: The primary aim of this study was to test the stress process model (SPM; Pearlin, Mullan, Semple, & Skaff, 1990) in a racially diverse sample of Alzheimer's caregivers (CGs) using structural equation modeling (SEM) and regression techniques. A secondary aim was to examine race or ethnicity as a moderator of the relation between latent constructs (e.g., subjective stressors and role strain) in the SPM. Sample: Participants included White or Caucasian (n = 212), Black or African American (n =201), and Hispanic or Latino (n = 196) Alzheimer's CGs from the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH) II clinical trial. Results: SEM revealed that the Pearlin model obtains a satisfactory fit across race or ethnicity in the REACH II data, despite significant racial differences in each of the latent constructs. Race or ethnicity moderated the impact of resources on intrapsychic strain, such that CGs reported similar intrapsychic strain across race at lower levels of resources, but White or Caucasian CGs reported more intrapsychic strain than Black or African American or Hispanic or Latino CGs when resources are higher. Implications: Strengths and weaknesses for each race or ethnicity vary considerably, suggesting that interventions must target different aspects of the stress process to provide optimal benefit for individuals of different cultural or ethnic backgrounds.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)248-261
    Number of pages14
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 2009


    • Alzheimer's disease
    • Caregiving
    • Race or ethnicity
    • Stress process

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Gerontology
    • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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