Informal caregiving transitions, subjective well-being and depressed mood: findings from the English longitudinal study of ageing

Rafnsson, Snorri ORCID:, Shankar, Aparna and Steptoe, Andrew (2015) Informal caregiving transitions, subjective well-being and depressed mood: findings from the English longitudinal study of ageing. Aging & Mental Health, 21 (1). pp. 104-112. ISSN 1360-7863

[thumbnail of Rafnsson_Shankar_and_Steptoe_2015_Aging_Ment_Health._Informal_caregiving_transitions,_subjective_well-being_and_depressed_mood_-_findings_from_the_English_longitudinal_study_of_ageing_(nihms).pdf]
Rafnsson_Shankar_and_Steptoe_2015_Aging_Ment_Health._Informal_caregiving_transitions,_subjective_well-being_and_depressed_mood_-_findings_from_the_English_longitudinal_study_of_ageing_(nihms).pdf - Accepted Version

Download (354kB) | Preview


Objectives: To prospectively investigate the impact of transitions in informal caregiving on emotional wellbeing over two years in a large population study of older people. Methods: Information on provision of unpaid care in 2004/5 and 2006/7 was available for 6571 participants in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Three wellbeing domains were also assessed on each occasion: Life satisfaction (measured with the Satisfaction With Life Scale); Quality of life (assessed with the CASP-19 scale); and depression symptoms (measured using the Centers for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale). Multivariable analyses of the impact on wellbeing of two-year caregiving transitions (caregiving entry and caregiving exit, or continued caring) were conducted separately for spousal/child carers and carers of other family/non-relatives. Results: Compared to non-caregiving, entry into spousal/child caregiving was associated with decline in quality of life (B = −1.60, p < .01) whereas entry into caregiving involving other kin relations increased life satisfaction (B = 1.02, p < .01) and lowered depression symptoms (B = −0.26, p < .05). Contrary to expectations, caregiving exit was related to increased depression in both spousal/child (B = 0.44, p < .01) and non-spousal/child (B = 0.25, p < .05) carers. Continued spousal/child caregiving was also related to decline in quality of life (B = −1.24, p < .05). Other associations were suggestive but non-significant. Conclusion: The emotional impact of different caregiving transitions in later life differs across kin relationships; notably, spousal and child carers’ wellbeing was consistently compromised at every stage of their caregiving career over the two-year study period.

Item Type: Article
Identifier: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1088510
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Aging & Mental Health on 24/09/2015, available online: This study was supported by the UK’s Economic and Social Research Council’s Secondary Data Analysis Initiative [grant number ES/K003178/1D9]. The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing is funded by the National Institute on Aging [grant number 2RO1AG7644-01A1], [grant number 2RO1AG017644D14] and by a consortium of UK Government departments coordinated by the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The data are lodged with the UK Data Archive. Professor Andrew Steptoe is supported by the British Heart Foundation. The sponsors played no role in the design, method, analysis, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: caregivers, depression, quality of life, older people, English Longitudinal Study of Ageing
Subjects: Medicine and health
Social sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Snorri Rafnsson
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2020 09:47
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2024 16:03


Downloads per month over past year

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item