All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Patricia Drentea

Advisory Committee Members

Elizabeth Baker

David Warner

Olivio Clay

Gregory Pavela

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) College of Arts and Sciences


While several studies have shown that caregiving duties are correlated with poor mental health outcomes, little is known about this association and how it varies by the type of care provided, as well as the other types of social roles that the caregiver occupies. Furthermore, the nature of these associations amongst caregivers who have been diagnosed with a chronic condition themselves is also unclear. Role Strain theory offers a foundation by which we can begin to understand the level of burden that results from occupying multiple social roles including that of caregiving. Using dating from the WHO Study on Global AGEing and Adult Health (SAGE): Wave 0, 2002-2004, this dissertation will assess the associations in China, India, Mexico, and Russia among caregivers’ depressive symptomatology, specifically amongst those who occupy multiple social roles such as that of employment, caring for young children in the home, being married. I also introduce the diagnosis for a chronic condition as a social role. It will also address variation in depressive symptomatology by the type of care being provided.This research also tests the applicability of Western sociological theory in non-Western settings. Societies with a more advanced economic standing and level of development tend to lower the status of older adults and, perhaps, the act of caregiving. Therefore, I hypothesize that depressive symptomatology will differ by country, as the countries in this study represent different levels of development. Findings suggest caregiver status is associated with greater levels of depressive symptomatology. Having a chronic condition and being employed are significantly associated with greater levels of depressive symptomatology, and moderate the relationship between caregiver status and depressive symptomatology. The effect of young children in the home on depressive symptomatology is significant for caregivers only. Although marriage is protective, it does not significantly impact depressive symptomatology differently for caregivers and non-caregivers. The effect of different social roles on depressive symptomatology does not vary by country, except for the role of employment. The effects of being female and age also vary significantly different in their impact on depressive symptomatology by country. Depressive symptomatology also differs by the type of care that is provided,



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