Caregiver burden, care recipient depressive symptomology, and social exchange: Does race matter?

Academic Article


  • Informal caregivers play a vital role in supporting seriously ill patients. However, informal caregiving is burdensome and can lead to negative health outcomes for the caregiver and the care recipient. The study’s aim was to evaluate relationships among caregiver burden, care recipient depressive symptomology, and race. Guided by the social exchange perspective, we examined crosssectional dyadic data from the National Long-Term Care Survey (N = 1279). Using ordinal logistic regression, we found that higher caregiver-reported objective burden was associated with higher care recipient depressive symptoms (P <.05), an association that was stronger for blacks. Interestingly, despite significant levels of objective burden, there was an association between lower depressive symptoms in black care recipients when there was an exchange of the social good ‘‘helpful company’’ with a caregiver. These findings illustrate the importance of supporting reciprocal exchange as a promising component of maintaining balanced caregiver–care recipient relationships among black older adults and their informal caregivers.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 804000
  • Author List

  • Ejem D; Bauldry S; Bakitas M; Drentea P
  • Start Page

  • 100
  • End Page

  • 108
  • Volume

  • 33
  • Issue

  • 2