Family caregiver role acquisition is an important, but little studied phenomenon. In this article, a conceptual approach for research on caregiver role acquisition is suggested. Caregiver role acquisition is defined as a family role transition. During this transition, the caregiving role is created through interaction between the caregiver and care receiver and between the dyad and others. Thus, caregiver role acquisition is a role-making process. An approach to social roles that integrates symbolic interactionism and structural role theory suggests that the role-making processes inherent in caregiver role acquisition occur through situated interaction. Concepts are identified from interactionist and structural perspectives that account for variation in individual experience with role acquisition. Indicators of health during caregiver role acquisition are also identified. Included are subjective indicators (role strain and role satisfaction), behavioral indicators (role insufficiency and role mastery), and interpersonal indicators (family conflict and mutuality).
|Original language||English (US)|
|Pages (from-to)||211-226; discussion 227-229|
|Journal||Scholarly inquiry for nursing practice|
|State||Published - 1995|
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