Among aging parents (mean age  =  65, N  =  139) of adults with developmental disabilities, we examined the effectiveness of multiple forms of coping with caregiver burden. As expected, accommodative strategies of adapting to stress (secondary engagement), used frequently in later life, buffered the impact of caregiver burden, whereas disengagement and distraction strategies exacerbated the effects of burden on depression symptoms. Most effects were similar for mothers and fathers, and all coping strategies, including active strategies to reduce stress (primary engagement), had greater effects for the parents with co-resident children. Vulnerability to caregiver burden was greatest when the aging parents with co-resident children used disengagement and distraction coping, but those who used engagement coping were resilient.

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