Perceptions and implications of received spousal care: Evidence from the caregiver health effects study

Lynn M. Martire, Richard Schulz, Carsten Wrosch, Jason T. Newsom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


The experiences of older care recipients have received far less theoretical and empirical attention than those of their family caregivers. In this study of 91 care recipients, the authors assessed perceptions of the amount, timing, and manner of spousal assistance; the amount of strain experienced from receiving care; and psychological well-being. Although female care recipients were more likely to report dissatisfaction with the manner in which assistance was provided, there were few gender differences in perceptions of care overall. In a stringent test of the hypothesis that perceived quality of spousal care affects recipient well-being, the authors found that poorer quality of care was related to increased depressive symptoms and a decreased sense of mastery 1 year later. These longitudinal effects were independent of the recipient's physical disability, marital quality, and care-receiving strain as well as the caregiver's well-being. These findings argue for a comprehensive assessment of the care-receiving experience that includes both care-recipient and caregiver perspectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-601
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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