Date Approved


Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Nursing (M.S.N.)

Degree Program

College of Nursing

First Advisor

Katherine Kim

Second Advisor

Lucille Grimm

Third Advisor

Ron Rozema


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between spirituality and depression in family caregivers of the elderly. This study sought to test the following hypothesis: The level of spirituality will be negatively correlated with the level of depression for family caregivers of the elderly. A descriptive, correlational design utilizing Neuman's wholistic system theory was used with a convenience sample of 44 family caregivers aged between 32 and 88 years. Self-reporting questionnaires were mailed to clients (identified as caregivers) of a home care agency, a caregiver respite program, and a Parkinson's support group all providing services in Northern Michigan. The Spiritual Perspective Scale (SPS) was utilized to measure spirituality, and the short form of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) was utilized to measure depression.; A Pearson correlation revealed no significant relationship existed between the total SPS scores and the total GDS scores (r = {dollar}-{dollar}.106, df = 32, p {dollar}>{dollar}.05). Even though this study's results were not statistically significant, the data indicated a trend toward a negative relationship between the variables. Implications for nursing are discussed.


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