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Self-esteem, self-efficacy, and optimism as psychological resources among caregivers of people with dementia: findings from the IDEAL study

  • Ruth A. Lamont (a1), Catherine Quinn (a1) (a2), Sharon M. Nelis (a1), Anthony Martyr (a1), Jennifer M. Rusted (a3), John V. Hindle (a1), Bryony Longdon (a1), Linda Clare (a1) and on behalf of the IDEAL study team (a1) (a2) (a3)...



Being a family caregiver, and in particular giving care to someone with dementia, impacts mental and physical health and potentially reduces the ability of caregivers to “live well.” This paper examines whether three key psychological resources—self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem—are associated with better outcomes for caregivers of people with dementia.

Design and Participants:

Caregivers of 1,283 people with mild-to-moderate dementia in the Improving the Experience of Dementia and Enhancing Active Life (IDEAL) project responded to measures of self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem, and “living well” (quality of life, life satisfaction, and well-being). Multivariate linear regression was used to examine the association between psychological resources and “living well”.


Self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem were all independently associated with better capability to “live well” for caregivers. This association persisted when accounting for a number of potential confounding variables (age group, sex, and hours of caregiving per day).


Low self-efficacy, optimism, and self-esteem might present a risk of poor outcomes for caregivers of people with dementia. These findings encourage us to consider how new or established interventions might increase the psychological resilience of caregivers.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Ruth A. Lamont, The Centre for Research in Ageing and Cognitive Health (REACH), University of Exeter Medical School, St. Luke’s Campus, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK. Phone/Fax: 01392 726865. Email:


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Self-esteem, self-efficacy, and optimism as psychological resources among caregivers of people with dementia: findings from the IDEAL study

  • Ruth A. Lamont (a1), Catherine Quinn (a1) (a2), Sharon M. Nelis (a1), Anthony Martyr (a1), Jennifer M. Rusted (a3), John V. Hindle (a1), Bryony Longdon (a1), Linda Clare (a1) and on behalf of the IDEAL study team (a1) (a2) (a3)...


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