Caregiver stress has been reported in approximately 60% of caregivers (Family Caregiver Alliance, 2012a). Despite the recognized negative consequences of informal care, researchers have identified the existence of mediators which have the potential to buffer, manage, transform, or prevent the negative influence of stress (Bolden & Newsome-Wicks, 2008; Kreitler et al., 2007; Merluzzi et al., 2011; Roscoe et al., 2009). Researchers have recently begun to study factors that influence the caregiving stress process (Bolden & Newsome-Wicks, 2008; Roscoe et al., 2009), enhancing ca regivers’ ability to cope (Merluzzi et al., 2011). Internal motivators, internal coping mechanism, and intrinsic behaviors, including mastery, resilience, and self-efficacy, have been shown to mediate negative outcomes of caregiving (Judge, Menne, & Whitlatch, 2009; Merluzzi et al., 2011). Caregivers with greater levels of mastery, resilience, and self-efficacy have reported lower levels of psychological illness, reduced rates of burnout, and greater levels of well-being (Bandura, 2006; Kreitler et al., 2007; Merluzzi et al., 2011). Although the constructs of mastery, resilience, and self-efficacy have similar attributes, self-efficacy provides a more general assessment of an individual’s ability to manage specific tasks. Self-efficacy, unlike the global constructs of mastery and resilience, can have an impact on everything from an individual’s psychological state to behavior to motivation (Bandura, 2006). Caregiver Self-Efficacy Caregiver self- efficacy is conceptualized as individuals’ beliefs in thei r ability to carry out activities and tasks specific to caregiving (Bandura, 2006). In regard to caregiving, self-efficacy theory suggests that individuals with higher levels of self-efficacy will have a greater level of success in completing caregiving tasks, lower levels of
6 psychological and physical illness, reduced rates of burnout, and greater levels of well- being than those with low levels of self-efficacy (Bandura, 2006). Researchers have shown the potential for self-efficacy to transform negative outcomes resulting from caregiving (Kreitler et al., 2007), including depression, burden, strain, and stress (Bandura, 1977; Gallagher et al., 2011; Lockenhoff, Duberstein, Friedman, & Costa, 2011; Merluzzi et al., 2011; Montoro-Rodriguez & Gallagher-Thompson, 2009). High levels of self-efficacy in informal caregivers has been associated with lower levels of depression, lower perceived burden, lower blood pressure, and decreased risk for cardiac disease (Au et al., 2010; Gallagher et al., 2011; Mausbach et al., 2012; Montoro- Rodriguez & Gallagher-Thompson, 2009; Perez et al., 2011; Romero-Moreno et al., 2011); however a majority of the studies were conducted on informal caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Researchers must study the influence of self-efficacy on the caregiving outcomes of adult informal caregivers providing care beyond those providing care to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Identification of factors that reduce negative outcomes is vital to the psychological and physical health of informal caregivers (Kreitler et al., 2007). In this study, the researcher
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