Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


Graduate Department of Clinical Psychology

First Advisor

William Buhrow


This study investigated the role of spirituality in family caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease as a means of lessening the development of depressive symptomology arising through caregiver burden. For this study, there were 41 caregiver participants taking care of a family member with Alzheimer’s disease. The population was obtained through various divisions of the Alzheimer’s Association of the United States of America. Participants completed a basic demographic survey, the General Well-Being Schedule, the Patient Health Questionnaire- 9, and the Spiritual Experience Index. Two groups, religious and non-religious, had their mental health functioning compared. Results from the 41 surveys suggest that spiritual family caregivers experience similar levels of mental health distress caring for their ill loved one as non-spiritual family members. Therefore, spiritual practice does not appear to moderate negative mental health functioning in family caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease.