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What Is the Relationship Between Background Characteristics and the Dyadic Strain Experienced by Individuals With Dementia?

MENNE, HEATHER L. PHD; JOHNSON, JUSTIN D. BA; WHITLATCH, CAROL J. PHD

doi: 10.1097/01.ALCAT.0000327713.01069.86
FEATURE TOPIC: Who Decides? Competency, Care Partners, and Cognitive Impairment: Research

This article examines how the background characteristics of an individual with dementia (IWD) are related to the dyadic relationship of the caregiver and IWD. Results indicate that selected background characteristics of IWDs (n = 119), such as marital status, living arrangement, and education level, influence the relationship that the IWD has with his or her caregiver. Findings provide family caregivers, researchers, and practitioners with a broader understanding of how an IWD's background affects the relationship between the caregiver and the IWD. Use of this knowledge has potential to expand the breadth and depth of new and innovative interventions for IWDs.

Heather L. Menne, PhD, is a Research Scientist, Margaret Blenkner Research Institute, Benjamin Rose Institute, Cleveland, Ohio.

Justin D. Johnson, BA, is a Research Assistant, Margaret Blenkner Research Institute, Benjamin Rose Institute, Cleveland, Ohio.

Carol J. Whitlatch, PhD, is an Assistant Director, Margaret Blenkner Research Institute, Benjamin Rose Institute, Cleveland, Ohio.

Address correspondence to: Heather L. Menne, PhD, Margaret Blenkner Research Institute, Benjamin Rose Institute, 11900 Fairhill Rd, Suite 300, Cleveland, OH 44120 (hmenne@benrose.org).

This study was made possible by grants from the National Institute on Aging (P50 AG-08012), the National Institute of Mental Health (RO1-MH070629), the Administration on Aging (90CG2566), and the Retirement Research Foundation. Portions of this article were presented at the Annual Ohio Association of Gerontology and Education (OAGE) Conference in April 2007.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.