Associations Among Family Caregivers’ Perceptions of Loneliness, Choice, and Purpose: a Comparative Analysis Between Non-Hispanic Black Caregivers and Non-Hispanic White Caregivers in a Population-Based Sample

Yiqing Qian, Derrick D. Matthews, Edwin B. Fisher, Kathryn E. Muessig, Lixin Song, Erin E. Kent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Loneliness is a frequent experience among family members engaging in caregiving responsibilities and may vary across racial and ethnic groups. This study aimed to examine (a) the difference in loneliness between non-Hispanic Black and non-Hispanic White caregivers, (b) the associations between loneliness and perceptions of choice and purpose in caregiving, and (c) whether those associations with loneliness differ by caregivers’ race. Method: Descriptive statistics and ordinal logistic regression were conducted in a population-based sample of 1000 caregivers (Black caregivers, n = 199; White caregivers, n = 801) from the 2020 Caregiving in the U.S. Study. The survey design was properly addressed. Key variables included loneliness (level of feeling alone about being a caregiver), choice (whether or not reporting a choice in taking on the caregiver responsibility), sense of purpose (level of purpose/meaning in life from caregiving), and race (Black/White). Models adjusted for caregiving characteristics (e.g., hour of caregiving) and sociodemographic characteristics (e.g., age and education). Results: Black caregivers had lower odds of reporting a higher level vs. a lower level of loneliness than White caregivers (aOR = 0.67, 95%CI = 0.47, 0.96). Reporting having no choice was associated with higher odds of a higher level of loneliness (aOR, 0.77, 95%CI = 0.67, 0.88). Higher sense of purpose scores were associated with lower odds of a higher level of loneliness (aOR = 0.81, 95%CI = 0.71, 0.93). No significant moderation effects of race were found. Conclusion: Black caregivers reported lower loneliness scores than White caregivers. Reporting no choice and lower sense of purpose were associated with higher loneliness in both racial groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Medicine
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Black caregivers
  • Choice
  • Family caregiving
  • Loneliness
  • Meanings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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