An inquiry into the relationship of caregivers and carereceivers in elder abuse situations
Gebhard, Thomasina Mary
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This study investigated caregivers' and carereceivers' relationship in abusive or neglected households in relation to (a) reaction formation, (b) amount of expressed stress, (c) conflict tactics, and (d) sense of burden as it is related to health, income, and household head. It was based on the theoretical orientation of conflict theory and functional theory.;The study sample consisted of eighty adults in a dyad relationship--forty caregivers between 35 and 80 years of age and forty carereceivers ranging from 62 to 93 years.;A questionnaire administered to each caregiver and carereceiver was designed to measure individual responses to these variables: self-perceived health, activities of daily living, reaction formation, sense of burden, conflict tactics, and stress.;The following conclusions were drawn from the data analyzed: (1) Caregivers used reaction formation significantly more often than carereceivers. (2) There was no significant difference in the amount of stress felt by caregivers and carereceivers, but each experienced stress in a unique way. (3) Both caregivers and carereceivers used physical and verbal abuse as part of conflict tactics. (4) The relationship of household head and the caregiver type contributed to the sense of burden.;The results of factor analyses showed physical abuse, compensatory behavior, and constructive strategies to be common factors in the reaction formation of caregivers and carereceivers. Psychological abuse/dehumanization and economic hardship were common factors in the stress experienced by caregivers and carereceivers. Additional factors underlying a stress for caregivers were filial anxiety, feelings of a loss of control, and family disintegration. The loss of physical autonomy, a sense of loss of significant others, and marital difficulties were a source of stress for carereceivers. Verbal abuse and physical threatening were conflict tactics used by both caregivers and carereceivers.;The study verified the commonality of both physical and psychological abuse in the interaction between caregivers and carereceivers. The findings indicate that interventions are more likely to be successful when the needs of both caregivers and carereceivers are addressed.
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