Sources and determinants of social support for caregivers of persons with AIDS.

Academic Article


  • This study examines the determinants of social support among a sample of 642 caregivers of persons with AIDS living in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Respondents include both traditional family caregivers (mothers, spouses, other relatives) and non-traditional caregivers (friends, homosexual partners). Multiple regression analyses are conducted to assess the independent effects of six sets of variables on emotional and instrumental support: social-structural factors (age, education, employment status), caregiver's relationship to the person with AIDS, situational variables (caregiver's HIV status, patient's functional disability, interpersonal conflict), social network factors (contact with family, contact with friends, community integration), personal resources (mastery, caregiving competence), and use of formal community services (patient-directed services, caregiver-directed services). A number of factors and conditions appear to be relevant for caregiver support. For example, results indicate that network factors, including frequency of contact, conflict, and community integration, are importantly related to caregivers' perceptions of emotional support. There is also a trend suggesting lower emotional support among traditional family caregivers, relative to nonfamily caregivers, within gender categories. With respect to instrumental assistance with caregiving, factors that place greater demands and time constraints on caregivers, such as being employed and caring for an AIDS patient with greater functional limitations, appear to increase the level of informal instrumental support the caregiver receives. Partners and spouses, however, receive significantly lower instrumental assistance, independent of other factors. Implications of the findings are discussed.
  • Authors

  • Turner, Heather
  • Pearlin, LI
  • Mullan, JT
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • June 1998
  • Published In


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Caregivers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Social Support
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 9642904
  • Start Page

  • 137
  • End Page

  • 151
  • Volume

  • 39
  • Issue

  • 2