eCite Digital Repository

Leisure time activities and mental health in informal dementia caregivers


Schuz, B and Czerniawski, AB and Davie, N and Miller, L and Quinn, MG and King, C and Carr, AR and Elliott, K-E and Robinson, A and Scott, JL, Leisure time activities and mental health in informal dementia caregivers, Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being, 7, (2) pp. 230-248. ISSN 1758-0846 (2015) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The International Association of Applied Psychology

DOI: doi:10.1111/aphw.12046


Objectives: Dementia prevalence and the demand for dementia care are increasing. Informal caregiving accounts for a large proportion of dementia care, but can come at high cost for caregivers. Informal dementia caregivers are at higher risk for mental health problems than the general population. This study examines whether perceived change in leisure activities is one working mechanism linking stress and burden experience in dementia caregiving to lower mental health (depressive symptoms, anxiety symptoms, and reduced satisfaction with life), and whether there are group-based leisure activities that can buffer this detrimental effect.

Methods: A total of 346 informal Australian dementia caregivers (88.15% female, age 1882 years) participated in an online study.

Results: Mediation and moderation analyses using multiple regression demonstrated that perceived changes in leisure activities linked caregiving stress and burden to lower mental health, and that membership in groups engaging in affiliation or social activities attenuates negative effects of caregiving.

Conclusion: Informal dementia caregivers benefit from satisfying leisure activities. In particular, engaging in social activities and self-help groups buffered the negative impact of caregiving.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:anxiety, depression, informal dementia caregivers, leisure activities, social activities, well-being
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Schuz, B (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
UTAS Author:Czerniawski, AB (Miss Alana Czerniawski)
UTAS Author:Davie, N (Miss Davie)
UTAS Author:Miller, L (Miss Lauren Miller)
UTAS Author:Quinn, MG (Dr Michael Quinn)
UTAS Author:King, C (Dr Carolyn King)
UTAS Author:Carr, AR (Associate Professor Andrea Carr)
UTAS Author:Elliott, K-E (Dr Kate-Ellen Elliott)
UTAS Author:Robinson, A (Professor Andrew Robinson)
UTAS Author:Scott, JL (Professor Jenn Scott)
ID Code:101295
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-06-16
Last Modified:2017-11-06

Repository Staff Only: item control page