Attachment working models and pre-illness relationship quality
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The current study examines longitudinal associations among caregiver attachment, caregiver-care recipient pre-illness relationship quality, and caregiver depressed affect before and after care recipient death. Informal caregivers of adult care recipients were interviewed at baseline (n = 448) and at two 18-month follow-up interviews (ns = 288 and 180, respectively). Caregivers who relinquished their role due to care recipient death were asked to participate in a follow-up interview (n = 75). Longitudinal hierarchical regression analyses suggest that caregivers with less positive working models of self report more grief following care recipient death. Longitudinal analyses did not confirm cross-sectional or across-time associations among caregiver attachment, pre-illness relationship quality, and depressed affect. Results are discussed in light of recent findings in the attachment literature, as are suggestions for future research in late life informal caregiving.