The family and intimate partner - health pathways of filial caregiving
Carpenter, Erica Nicole
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This study examines the associations between the quality of adult filial caregivers’ family and intimate partner relationships and caregivers’ health behaviors, mental health, and physical health. Structural equation modeling was used to test mediating pathways connecting filial caregivers’ close family and intimate partner relationship quality and physical health outcomes. Secondary data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States (MIDUS II) (Ryff et al., 2016) were used to examine the health outcomes of adult respondents (n = 275) who experienced caregiving for a parent or parent-in-law in the last 12 months. Results included a significant mediation effect of close family and intimate partner relationship quality and physical health, through mental health; health behaviors did not produce a significant mediation effect. Clinical implications and recommendations for future research are presented for family therapists and other family professionals who work with filial caregivers, emphasizing the potential benefits of incorporating family and couple therapy into treatment.