Date of Conferral
Informal caregivers have played a significant social and economic role in the care and treatment of individuals diagnosed with chronic illness. However, caregiving can have harmful effects on a caregiver's physical, psychological, and emotional well-being. Using caregiver stress theory as the theoretical framework, the purpose of this archival research was to determine the predictive relationship of stress in relation to caregiver quality of life for 309 selected cases. Correlational and hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between the independent variables and the dependent variable. The independent variables examined were environment and context, stressors related to the demands of caregiving, self-appraisal of ability to cope, and caregivers' knowledge and use of community and family resources. The dependent variable was the caregiver's quality of life. Findings showed that independent variables of environment and context (gender, age, marital status, education, employment status, income level) accounted for 14% of the variance in caregiver quality of life. The remaining independent variables (caregiver stressors, self-appraisal of ability to cope, and knowledge and use of resources) accounted for an additional 4% of the variance. The set of independent variables in this study collectively accounted for 18% of the variability in caregiver quality of life. Caregiver knowledge and use of resources had the strongest predictive relationship with caregiver quality of life. Researchers and practitioners may use the findings to assist in identifying antecedents to caregiver stress and the strongest predictors of caregiver stress, as well as in developing appropriate and efficient interventions and social support resources to meet caregivers' specific needs, reduce their stress, and promote and enhance their quality of life.