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The Effects of Past Relationship and Obligation on Health and Health Promotion in Women Caregivers of Adult Family Members

Wuest, Judith PhD, RN; Hodgins, Marilyn J. PhD, RN; Malcolm, Jean MA; Merritt-Gray, Marilyn RN, MN; Seaman, Patricia RN, MN

doi: 10.1097/01.ANS.0000286620.39021.88
Article

The social expectation that women will care for family members persists despite evidence that many women have difficult or abusive past relationships with their parents and partners. Little is known about how past relationship influences the health of women caring for adult family members. On the basis of earlier grounded theory research, we tested the theory that past relationship and obligation predict health outcomes and health promotion in 236 women caregivers of adult family members. Structural equation modeling demonstrated support for the theory, with 56% of the variance in health outcomes and 11% of the variance in health promotion accounted for by the model.

From the Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Corresponding author: Judith Wuest, PhD, RN, Faculty of Nursing, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada E3B 5A3 (wuest@unb.ca).

The authors are grateful to the women caregivers who participated in this study. This research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Operating grant #62981. The first author was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, University of New Brunswick Investigator Salary Award 2002–2007.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.