Spilling over strain between elders and their caregivers in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-93
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Aging and Human Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006


According to the dialectical model, the well-being of the older care recipient, the informal caregiver, and the professional care provider mutually affect each other. Particularly, the caregiver's strain can affect the care recipient's well-being both positively and negatively. Moreover, the task-specific model suggests that as social workers are responsible for maintaining elders' well-being, the workers' strain would be particularly influential on the elders' well-being. To clarify these dialectic relationships, the present study surveyed the three parties involved in home help or home care services in Hong Kong over two successive waves using a panel design. This study reveals the significant negative effect the professional care provider's earlier strain has on the elder's later well-being. Moreover, the social worker's earlier strain was particularly detrimental to the elder's later well-being. In contrast, the effect of the informal caregiver's earlier strain was not significant. Additionally, the elder's well-being had no significant impact on the strain of either the professional care provider or the informal caregiver. Findings of this study support the qualification of the dialectical model by the task-specific model to yield a model of channeled spillover. Accordingly, dialectical influence requires a channel to materialize the spillover effect. © 2006, Baywood Publishing Co., Inc.