A stress and coping model of adjustment to caring for an adult with mental illness

Mackay, Christiana and Pakenham, Kenneth I. (2012) A stress and coping model of adjustment to caring for an adult with mental illness. Community Mental Health Journal, 48 4: 450-462. doi:10.1007/s10597-011-9435-4

Author Mackay, Christiana
Pakenham, Kenneth I.
Title A stress and coping model of adjustment to caring for an adult with mental illness
Journal name Community Mental Health Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0010-3853
Publication date 2012-08-01
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10597-011-9435-4
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 48
Issue 4
Start page 450
End page 462
Total pages 13
Place of publication New York, N.Y, United States
Publisher Springer New York LLC
Language eng
Abstract This study investigated the utility of a stress and coping framework for identifying factors associated with adjustment to informal caregiving to adults with mental illness. Relations between stress and coping predictors and negative (distress) and positive (positive affect, life satisfaction, benefit finding, health) carer adjustment outcomes were examined. A total of 114 caregivers completed questionnaires. Predictors included relevant background variables (carer and care recipient characteristics and caregiving context), coping resources (optimism, social support, carer-care recipient relationship quality), appraisal (threat, control, challenge) and coping strategies (problem-focused, avoidance, acceptance, meaning-focused). Results indicated that after controlling for relevant background variables (burden, caregiving frequency, care recipient symptom unpredictability), better caregiver adjustment was related to higher social support and optimism, better quality of carer-care recipient relationship, lower threat and higher challenge appraisals, and less reliance on avoidance coping, as hypothesised. Coping resources emerged as the most consistent predictor of adjustment. Findings support the utility of stress and coping theory in identifying risk and protective factors associated with adaptation to caring for an adult with mental illness.
Keyword Mental illness
Quality of life
Stress and coping
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online: 30 June 2011

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 19 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 20 Mar 2012, 04:12:23 EST by Mrs Alison Pike on behalf of School of Psychology