A Landscape of Subjective and Objective Stress in African American Dementia Family Caregivers

Fawn A. Cothran, Emily Chang, Laurel Beckett, Julie T. Bidwell, Candice A. Price, Dolores Gallagher-Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Stress is a significant part of daily life, and systemic social inequities, such as racism and discrimination, are well-established contributors of chronic stress for African Americans. Added exposure to the stress of caregiving may exacerbate adverse health outcomes. This secondary analysis describes subjective and objective stress in African American family caregivers, and relationships of subjective and objective stress to health outcomes. Baseline data from 142 African American dementia family caregivers from the “Great Village” study were described using means and frequencies; regression models and Pearson’s correlation were used to examine associations between demographics, social determinants of health, and health outcomes. Mixed models were used to examine change and change variation in cortisol. Most caregivers had moderate degrees of stress. Stress was associated with sleep disruption and depressive symptoms, and discrimination appeared to be an independent contributor to depressive symptoms. This work provides a foundation for interpreting subjective and objective indicators of stress to tailor existing multicomponent interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWestern Journal of Nursing Research
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • African American
  • allostatic load
  • caregivers
  • cortisol
  • dementia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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