Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Counseling and Human Development

Degree Program

Counseling and Personnel Services, PhD

Committee Chair

Possel, Patrick

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Owen, Jesse

Committee Member

Owen, Jesse

Committee Member

Adelson, Jill

Committee Member

Kayser, Karen


Caregivers; Cancer--Patients--Home care; Caregivers--Psychology; Cancer--Patients--Family relationships


Individuals who provide emotional, social, and physical care to a care recipient with cancer, without receiving financial compensation, are considered informal cancer caregivers. Research has identified that depression is a significant concern for cancer caregivers and likely impacts the care recipient’s health as well. However, limited literature has evaluated constructs that may affect depression in cancer caregivers. The current study explored how intrinsic and extrinsic cultural motivations, caregiver burden, and repetitive thinking relate to depression in a sample of 46 current cancer caregivers. Results revealed that while cancer caregivers did endorse both intrinsic and extrinsic cultural motivations for providing care as well as repetitive thinking, repetitive thinking did not mediate the relationship between cultural motivations and depressive symptoms. However, repetitive thinking did mediate the relationship between caregiver burden and depressive symptoms. Thus, repetitive thinking may play an important role in maintaining and potentially exacerbating caregiving distress. Implications for how the findings may inform caregiver interventions, as well as future research, are discussed.

Included in

Counseling Commons