Objectives—The present study tested an attribution model of help-giving in family caregivers of persons with schizophrenia as it relates to caregivers’ reported burden. We hypothesized (a) that caregivers’ attributions of their ill relatives’ responsibility for their symptoms would be associated with more negative and less positive affective reactions, (b) that affective reactions would be related to perceptions of administered support, and (c) that support would in turn predict greater burden.
Methods—We examined 60 family caregivers of Mexican origin living in Southern California. Mexican Americans were chosen because of their high degree of contact with their ill relative thereby facilitating the examination of help-giving and burden. Contrary to past studies, caregivers’ attributions and affective stance were assessed independently, the former based on self-report and the latter based on codes drawn from the Camberwell Family Interview. Caregiver burden was assessed at baseline and one year later.
Results—Path analyses showed partial support for the attribution model of help-giving. Specifically, attributions of responsibility negatively predicted caregiver’s warmth, which in turn predicted more administered support. Contrary to hypotheses, attributions were not associated with caregiver criticism, and criticism was positively related to administered support. In addition, caregiver support was not related to burden at either baseline or a year later. Criticism was a significant predictor of burden at follow-up through burden at baseline.
Conclusion—The emotional stance of caregivers predicts burden independent of the help they provide. Caregiver criticism not only predicts negative patient outcomes but can predict negative caregiver outcomes as well.
Villalobos, B. T., Ullman, J., Krick, T. W., Alcántara, D., Kopelowicz, A., & López, S. R. (2017). Caregiver criticism, help-giving, and the burden of schizophrenia among Mexican American families. The British journal of clinical psychology, 56(3), 273–285. https://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12137
British Journal of Clinical Psychology