Daily activities and their relationship with positive mental health for orphaned and separated children caregiver

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2019

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Abstract

There are many orphaned and separated children (OSC) in the world and caregivers play a crucial role in caring for, supervising, and educating them. However, caregiving work is stressful and overwhelming, which sometimes bring negative influences to caregivers’ physical and mental health such as depression and anxiety that can be a great threat to caregivers’ mental health. Current studies mainly focus on caregivers’ mental illness instead of caregivers’ positive mood and mental health which are also very important. Besides, there is little information on caregivers’ daily life and work schedule which likely have a strong relationship with their positive mental health. This study’s objective was to describe OSC caregivers’ daily lives and how their work and activities are related to their positive mental health. Data collected included diary entries, surveys, and interviews from caregivers from five geographic locations: Hyderabad, India; Nagaland, India; Ethiopia; Kenya; and Cambodia. A total of 82 participants completed surveys and diary entries, and 69 of them finished interviews. Diary data were coded to learn about time spent on every activity; how caregivers perceived an activity’s importance, meaningfulness, pleasantness, and unpleasantness; and how time spent on activities related to caregivers’ daily mood. We focused on five main activities: cleaning, cooking, caring for children, supervising children and teaching children. We found that caregivers sometimes spend more hours on cleaning and cooking than staying with children in terms of caring for children, supervising children, or teaching children. These findings are important for OSC residential care centers to consider rearranging caregivers’ work schedules and planning more activities for caregivers to improve their positive mental health.

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Liu, Xiaoqian (2019). Daily activities and their relationship with positive mental health for orphaned and separated children caregiver. Master's thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18891.

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