Caregiving Burden and self-care among European-American and Chinese-American family caregivers of people with mental illness

Publication Date


Document Type



Occupational Therapy; Social Work


Family Medicine | Mental and Social Health

Publication Title

Journal of Family Studies


Family caregivers (FCs) of persons with mental illness (PMI) often experience caregiving burdens that contribute to poor mental health. As compared to European-American FCs, Asian-American FCs may experience greater caregiving burden due to an increased likelihood of cohabiting with PMIs. Yet, limited research exists on the caregiving experience of Asian-American FCs and on how self-care practice and social support mediate caregiver burden among FCs of PMIs. Using a cross-sectional mixed-method design this study explored the impact of caregiving burden on mental health outcomes among Chinese-American and European-American FCs. The quantitative data showed similar caregiving burden between the two groups and a partial mediation role for self-care practice on FCs’ mental health. The qualitative data showed that FCs from the two groups utilized different types of social support. Findings suggest the need for mental health professionals to develop intervention programs to enhance self-care practices and social support for FCs when working with PMIs.


Family caregivers of persons with mental illness, caregiving burden, self-care, social support, mental health


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