Date of Conferral

2015

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Psychology

Advisor

Patricia Heisser Metoyer

Abstract

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine an under-researched topic: the relationship between psychological resilience and personal growth with spousal caregivers of patients diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Chronic illnesses contribute to potentially stressful changes (i.e., lifestyle, quality of life, financial wellbeing, and interpersonal relationships) for the caregiver. The theoretical foundation for this study was Walshâ??s family resilience theory, which contends that resilience is vital for coping with stressful life experiences and leading a more successful life. Three separate analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between the total scores of the RS and the PGIS, the SWLS, and the EMS along with the background variables to see if the covariates contributed information about the relationship between these variables while controlling for gender, marital satisfaction, time since partner diagnosis, age of caregiver, whether the participant had previous interventions, whether the couple had children, current health status, duration of marriage, and life satisfaction. Based on the findings of the multiple-regression analysis, a significant relationship was found between resilience and personal growth of 115 caregivers of MS spouses. Further analysis showed a significant relationship between resilience and satisfaction with life, with marital satisfaction being the only other variable that was significant in the model. The information gathered in this study could contribute to social change for program planners and policy makers by revealing a need for innovative support services.

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