Caregiver attribution and resentment in dementia care

Kristin Martin-Cook, Barbara Remakel-Davis, Doris Svetlik, Linda S. Hynan, Myron F. Weiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The caregivers of 37 patients with a dementing illness completed rating scales regarding the frequency and severity of their care recipient's general behavioral disturbance and manipulative behaviors, as well as their own resentment and depression. Caregivers were randomized to a four-week psychoeducational group intervention or control group to investigate the effect of dementia caregiving education on the caregiving experience. Findings indicated that, while care recipient behavioral disturbance was correlated with caregiver resentment and depression, the primary relationship was between behaviors perceived by the caregiver as manipulative or willful and caregiver resentment and depression. We found no significant differences in caregiver attribution, resentment, or depression between the caregivers who participated in the group session and those in the control group. The study supports the existence of resentment among dementia caregivers, and an important relationship between caregiving outcomes and attributions made by caregivers regarding their care recipients' actions. These results are discussed in relation to existing research on caregiver distress and intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-374
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2003


  • Attribution
  • Behavior disturbance
  • Caregivers
  • Dementia
  • Resentment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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