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Orientation to the Caregiver Role Among Latinas of Mexican Origin


Purpose of the study

To develop the Caregiver Orientation Scale for Mexican-Origin Women and evaluate its psychometric properties.

Design and methods

We developed a questionnaire to measure domains of cultural orientation to the caregiver role based on formative research and on the Cultural Justifications for Caregiving Scale. We conducted a series of exploratory factor analyses (EFAs) on data collected from 163 caregivers. We estimated internal consistency reliability (Cronbach's coefficient alpha) and assessed construct validity by estimating correlations between all latent factors and self-rated health, interview language, and weekly hours of care.


EFAs suggested four factors representing familism, obligation, burden, and caregiving intensity that displayed good fit (χ2 (df = 63) = 70.52, p = .24; RMSEA = .03 [90% CI: 0.00, 0.06]; comparative fit index = .99). Multi-item scales representing the four domains had coefficient alphas ranging from .68 to .86. Obligation was positively associated with burden (.46, p < .001) and intensity (.34, p < .01), which were themselves positively correlated (.63, p < .001). Familism was positively associated with obligation (.25, p < .05) yet negatively associated with burden (-.35, p < .01) and intensity (-.22, p < .05). Weekly hours of care were positively associated with burden (.26, p < .01) and intensity (.18, p < .05), whereas self-rated health and burden (-.21, p < .05) and Spanish language and intensity (-.31, p < .001) were negatively correlated.


The study shows that Mexican-origin caregiver orientation is multidimensional and that caregivers may have conflicting motivations for caregiving.

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