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Geographical proximity and depressive symptoms among adult child caregivers: social support as a moderator

Objectives: This study examined whether geographical proximity is a predictor of depressive symptoms, and whether family and friend support can moderate the relationship between geographical proximity and depressive symptoms. Method: A survey of 557 adult child primary caregivers was conducted in Shanghai, China in 2013. Geographical proximity was measured as a categorical variable: coresidence, short distance (less than 30 minutes' travel time), and long distance (more than 30 minutes' travel time). Family and friend support were assessed using the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Depressive symptoms were evaluated using the Center on Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Multiple regression analyses and interaction terms were used to test the moderating roles of family and friend support. Results: Adult child caregivers who live more than 30 minutes away from care recipients experienced higher depressive symptoms than coresiding caregivers (β =.114, p <.01). Family support (β = −.408, p <.05) and friend support (β = −.235, p <.05) were protective factors that lessened depressive symptoms for long-distance adult child caregivers. Conclusion: This study adds spatial dimension to caregiving literature and extends stress process theory. These findings have important implications for service planning and social support for adult child caregivers.

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Jour
Type of Work
Journal article
Publisher
Taylor & Francis
ISBN/ISSN
1360-7863
Publication Year
2019
Issue Number
2
Journal Titles
Aging & Mental Health
Volume Number
23
Start Page
205
End Page
203