Date of Conferral
Rebecca A. Stout
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most commonly occurring form of dementia that affects African Americans at 2 to 3 times higher rate than other ethnic or racial groups in the United States. As the number of older African Americans with AD grows rapidly so will the need for daily supports; therefore, informal caregivers, such as an adult offspring, often assume the role of filial caregiver. Focusing on the unique patterns of caregiving among African Americans, this generic qualitative study may help explain the adult offspring’s perspective on sibling relationships as they function in the role of primary filial caregiver. Equity theory was the conceptual framework used to explore sibling relationships among African American adult filial caregivers. A purposeful sampling in conjunction with snowballing was used to recruit participants who provided filial caregiving to a home-bound parent with AD. For this generic qualitative study, 10 participants responded to 12 open-ended interview questions related to their sibling relationships and filial caregiving. After collecting and transcribing the data, I used a thematic analysis approach, resulting in the following 5 emergent themes: (a) perception of equity, (b) continuing a close sibling relationship, (c) strategies of communication and collaborative decision-making, (d) varying siblings supports, and (e) attitudes towards caregiving and siblings. The results from this study may enhance culturally sensitive or responsive interventions/strategies and family-centered programs supporting African American adult filial caregivers and their siblings as they navigate the demands of elder care, thereby informing perceptions of fairness related to caregiving responsibilities.