The relationship between psychological resources, social resources, and depression : Results from older spousal 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)1016-1027
Journal / PublicationAging and Mental Health
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2012


Objectives: The rapidly ageing population in Hong Kong has led to a major concern in providing care for the elderly. Due to the current social changes in Hong Kong, such as smaller family size, longer life spans, and increasing employment demands, spouses increasingly serve as the primary caregivers for older adults. To explore the mental health of older spousal caregivers, this study investigated the relationships between psychological resources, social resources, and depression. Method: One hundred fifty-eight spousal caregivers aged 55 and above were recruited from 13 caregiver resource centres in Hong Kong. Data were collected using structured questionnaires. Results: Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that the number of duties and psychological resources including purpose in life, caregiver burden, and personal wellbeing explained 56% of the variance in depression. Logistic regression analysis further indicated that purpose in life predicted the likelihood of depression reported by caregivers. Social resources did not significantly predict depression. Conclusion: Results suggest that mental health enhancement programs should be developed for Chinese spousal caregivers with a focus on purpose in life, burden, and personal wellbeing. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Research Area(s)

  • depression, psychological resources, purpose in life, social resources, spousal caregivers