Original article| Volume 93, ISSUE 12, P2229-2236, December 2012

Role of Social Support in Predicting Caregiver Burden


      Rodakowski J, Skidmore ER, Rogers JC, Schulz R. Role of social support in predicting caregiver burden.


      To examine the unique contribution of social support to burden in caregivers of adults aging with spinal cord injury (SCI).


      Secondary analyses of cross-sectional data from a large cohort of adults aging with SCI and their primary caregivers.


      Multiple community locations.


      Caregivers of community-dwelling adults aging with SCI (n=173) were interviewed as part of a multisite randomized controlled trial. The mean age ± SD of caregivers was 53±15 years and of care-recipients, 55±13 years.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The primary outcome was caregiver burden measured with the Abridged Version of the Zarit Burden Interview. A hierarchical multiple regression analysis examined the effects of social supports (social integration, received social support, and negative social interactions) on burden in caregivers of adults aging with SCI while controlling for demographic characteristics and caregiving characteristics.


      After controlling for demographic characteristics and caregiving characteristics, social integration (β̂=−.16, P<.05), received social support (β̂=−.15, P<.05), and negative social interactions (β̂=.21, P<.01) were significant independent predictors of caregiver burden.


      Findings demonstrate that social support is an important factor associated with burden in caregivers of adults aging with SCI. Social support should be considered for assessments and interventions designed to identify and reduce caregiver burden.

      Key Words

      List of Abbreviations:

      ADL (activity of daily living), IADL (instrumental activity of daily living), SCI (spinal cord injury), VIF (variance inflation factor)
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