Care recipient agreeableness is associated with caregiver subjective physical health status.
OBJECTIVES: The emotional and physical health consequences of caring for a family member are well documented. However, although personality has been shown to affect dyadic interactions and been linked with individual outcomes for both care recipients (CRs) and caregivers (CGs), the influence of CR personality on CG health remains unexplored. METHOD: This study investigated cross-sectional associations between CRs' five-factor personality traits and CGs' physical and emotional health in 312 dyads of older adults with disability and their informal CGs who participated in the Medicare Primary and Consumer-Directed Care Demonstration. RESULTS: Regression models controlling for CG personality, strain, and sociodemographic characteristics and CR physical impairment and pain found that agreeableness in CRs was associated with better physical health among CGs. Facet-level analyses showed specific associations between the trust and compliance facets of CR agreeableness and CG physical health. Investigation of CR personality styles revealed that the "easygoing" (N-, A+) and "well-intentioned" (A+, C-) styles predicted better CG physical health; the "leaders" (E+, A-) style had the opposite effect. No significant associations were found between CR personality and CG mental health. DISCUSSION: Results from this study reveal the value of considering CR personality in relation to CG health and highlight the importance of assessing dispositional qualities within the context of care provision and informal assistance.
Riffin, C; Löckenhoff, CE; Pillemer, K; Friedman, B; Costa, PT
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