Date of Award

Spring 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Elizabeth Monk-Turner

Committee Member

Xiushi Yang

Committee Member

Judi Caron-Sheppard

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 L37 2007


Research suggests that with baby boomers reaching the age of the retirement, life expectancy rising, and the prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, caregiving roles are almost becoming an established aspect of family obligation (Hoyert 2000). The purpose of this study is to examine and measure the willingness of caregivers to either help with or completely perform the necessary caregiving tasks required by the Alzheimer's.

The data utilized for this study is entitled, "REACH." REACH stands for Resources Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health. It was gathered by the National Institute of Health and led by the National Institute on Aging. Data were collected on 1,299 caregiver/care-recipient dyads between September 1996 and March 2000 (Schulz et al. 2001).

Descriptive statistics are discussed by looking at frequencies. Bivariate analyses were utilized to determine significance between main variables and to test each hypothesis directly. Multivariate analyses were used to further test the hypotheses. Additional theories and policies are discussed.

Evidence was found to suggest that caregiving roles for patients with Alzheimer's disease may be leading in a different direction. This conclusion was set forth due to the fact that none of the hypotheses tested were significant. Inconsistent with previous research on caregivers, males may be just as willing to perform any type of caregiving tasks for the patient, whether it be personal or impersonal. Though, it must be stated that females are still overwhelmingly the main caregivers (Kramer and Thompson 2001). The caregiving role may not be understood to belong to either the spouse of the caregiver or the adult children of the care-recipient. One's educational attainment and income are not related to one's willingness to perform adequate care. Finally, in this study, one's race and the traditions of extended families for African-Americans and Latinos may be more similar to White families than expected.


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