Experiential avoidance, acceptance, and depression in dementia family caregivers

Adam P. Spira, Sherry A. Beaudreau, Daniel Jimenez, Krystal Kierod, Marty M. Cusing, Heather L. Gray, Dolores Gallagher-Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dementia caregivers commonly experience elevated levels of stress, and are at increased risk for psychological disorders. Recent research has implicated experiential avoidance and related processes in the development and maintenance of psychopathology, but no published studies have investigated the relation between experiential avoidance and caregiver depression. The present study examined this relationship in a sample of 28 female dementia family caregivers who completed a series of questionnaires, including measures of experiential avoidance and depression, as part of the pre-treatment protocol of a larger project. Results indicated a robust correlation between the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire and depression. Experiential avoidance was associated with depression even after accounting for caregivers' negative affect and care recipients' behavior problems. Implications of findings for the treatment of caregiver distress are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Gerontologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 25 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Avoidance
  • Caregivers
  • Caregiving
  • Dementia
  • Depression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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