Document Type




First Advisor's Name

Joan Erber

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

William Kurtines

Third Advisor's Name

Mary Levitt

Date of Defense



The various stresses experienced, by the individual providing care for an elderly spouse or parent are referred to as caregiver's burden. The present study examines the influence of the relationship between sisters on the perceived burden of the caregiving daughter. In addition to the quality of the sibling bond, the effect of proximity is also examined.

The 58 participants completed questionnaires which assessed the amount of caregiving, the perceived burden, and the quality of the relationship with the sister. Correlational analyses indicated a strong negative correlation between burden and closeness (p < .01). The results of regression analyses indicated that proximity to the sister was not a significant predictor of burden (p < .25), but that closeness to the sister predicted 6% of the variance in perceived burden (p < .01).

The findings of this study illustrate that the quality of the sibling bond between sisters can be an important influence on the perception of caregiver's burden. When sisters have a close relationship, even when they do not live in proximity, the perceived burden of the caregiving daughter can be mediated.




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