Accentuate the Positive: The Association Between Informal and Formal Supports and Caregiving Gains

Amanda N. Leggett, Oanh L. Meyer, Benjamin C. Bugajski, Courtney A. Polenick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background: To promote resilience among caregivers for persons living with dementia (PLWDs), we examine how formal and informal supports are linked to caregiving gains, and whether gender moderates the association between supports and gains. Method: Using the National Health and Aging Trends Study and associated National Study of Caregiving, sources of informal (emotional support, practical support, and help with the PLWD) and formal support (respite care, training program, support group) are considered as predictors of caregiving gains, with gender as a moderator of these associations. The sample included 707 caregivers for 502 PLWDs. Results: Greater caregiving gains were significantly associated with emotional support from friends/family (β = 0.14, SE = 0.09, p =.03). Furthermore, attending a caregiver training program was only associated with increased caregiving gains among men (β = 0.11, SE = 0.08, p =.02). Conclusion: Emotional support from family/friends appears particularly consequential for caregiving gains, and male caregivers may benefit most from programs that emphasize skill building.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2020


  • caregiving gains
  • caregiving support services
  • dementia caregiving
  • informal support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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