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Caregiver life satisfaction: relationship to youth symptom severity through treatment.

Authors
  • Athay, M Michele
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of clinical child and adolescent psychology : the official journal for the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, American Psychological Association, Division 53
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2012
Volume
41
Issue
4
Pages
433–444
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/15374416.2012.684273
PMID: 22571285
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

This study utilized the Satisfaction with Life Scale to investigate the life satisfaction of caregivers for youth receiving mental health services (N = 383). Specifically, this study assessed how caregiver life satisfaction relates to youth symptom severity throughout treatment. Hierarchical linear modeling with a time-varying covariate was used to estimate the linear trajectory of caregiver life satisfaction and how it relates to youth symptom severity as rated by caregivers, youth, and clinicians. Results found initial caregiver life satisfaction was inversely related to caregiver and clinician rated youth symptom severity. In addition, subsequent caregiver life satisfaction demonstrated a small but significant relationship to changes in youth symptom severity during treatment where a decrease in youth symptoms corresponded to an increase in caregiver life satisfaction, and vice versa. Caregiver background characteristics related to higher life satisfaction included being (a) married, a birth parent, and younger than 40 years old, and (b) having the absence of previous diagnoses of an emotional, behavioral, or substance use disorder. Despite significant change over time, caregivers of clinically referred youth demonstrated low levels of life satisfaction throughout youth treatment. Given the bidirectional influences on one another, tending to the well-being of caregivers may positively influence both caregivers and youths.

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