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Caregivers in Canada: The Effect of Formal Support Needs on Stress and Mental Health

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Title: Caregivers in Canada: The Effect of Formal Support Needs on Stress and Mental Health
Author: Grant, Ashley
Department: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Program: Sociology
Advisor: Shalla, VivianWalters, David
Abstract: This thesis aims to explore the well-being of informal family caregivers in Canada. More specifically, this analysis will focus on the self-reported daily stress and mental health levels of male and female caregivers to elderly parents or children with long-term disabilities, considering the effect of formal support needs as well as which types of support have the greatest impact. Through a gender perspective, this study will also highlight which caregivers are at the greatest risk for heightened levels of daily stress and lower levels of mental health while providing care. The results from this study reveal that while financial and medical support are cited as most frequently needed by caregivers in Canada, the need for more emotional support and respite support (or temporary relief from caregiving duties) are most strongly related to daily stress and mental health. In addition, this analysis emphases the relationship between high levels of perceived daily stress and lower levels of mental health, especially for women. Because this study will be using recent Canadian data, it can provide insights for policy makers in Canada on how to improve the health of caregivers, as well as which caregivers are currently in of the most support.
Date: 2014-09
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