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Exploring resilience in adult daughter and spousal carers of people living with dementia in North West England: an ecological approach

Warren James Donnellan (Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)
Kate Mary Bennett (Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)
Natalie Watson (Department of Psychology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)

Quality in Ageing and Older Adults

ISSN: 1471-7794

Article publication date: 8 July 2021

Issue publication date: 30 July 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

Research has shown that informal carers of people living with dementia (PLWD) can be resilient in the face of caregiving challenges. However, little is known about resilience across different kinship ties. This study aims to update and build on our previous work, using an ecological resilience framework to identify and explore the factors that facilitate or hinder resilience across spousal and adult daughter carers of PLWD.

Design/methodology/approach

This study conducted in-depth qualitative interviews with a purposive sample of 13 carers from North West England and analysed the data using a constructivist grounded theory approach (Charmaz, 2003).

Findings

Adult daughters were motivated to care out of reciprocity, whereas spouses were motivated to care out of marital duty. Spouses had a more positive and accepting attitude towards caregiving and were better able to maintain continuity, which facilitated their resilience.

Research limitations/implications

Resilience emerged on multiple levels and depended on the type of kinship tie, which supports an ecological approach to resilience. The implications of these findings are discussed.

Originality/value

This paper makes a novel contribution to the literature as it uses an in-depth qualitative methodology to compare resilience across spousal and adult daughter carers of PLWD. This study adopts an ecological approach to identify not just individual-level resilience resources but also interactive community- and societal-level resources.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the men and women who shared their stories in this study. The authors also thank Sian Fennings-Chandler who helped with data collection and transcription. Funding information: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Disclosure statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Citation

Donnellan, W.J., Bennett, K.M. and Watson, N. (2021), "Exploring resilience in adult daughter and spousal carers of people living with dementia in North West England: an ecological approach", Quality in Ageing and Older Adults, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 40-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/QAOA-12-2020-0063

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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