Primary objective: This study examined sociodemographic, physical and psychosocial characteristics of family caregivers of stroke survivors at risk for depression. Research design: A correlational study. Methods and procedures: Data were collected from 52 family caregivers and care recipients with ischemic stroke. Data were collected 1-2 days before discharge from a rehabilitative facility and at 5, 9 and 13 weeks post-discharge. Main outcomes and results: Compared to African Americans, Caucasians had ∼3.7 times higher odds of being at risk. The odds of being at risk for depressive behaviour decreased by 30% for each unit increase in belonging and increased by 5% for each unit increase in burden. Conclusions: Family caregivers who are isolated from others may benefit from therapeutic interventions that facilitate social interaction and decrease caregiver burden. Ethnic differences in caregiver depression merit further research. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.