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Commitment to personal values and guilt feelings in dementia caregivers

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 September 2016

Laura Gallego-Alberto*
Psychology Department, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Andrés Losada
Psychology Department, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
María Márquez-González
Biological and Health Psychology Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Rosa Romero-Moreno
Psychology Department, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Carlos Vara
Biological and Health Psychology Department, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Correspondence should be addressed to: Laura Gallego-Alberto, Departamental II, Av. Atenas s/n., 28922, Alcorcón Madrid, Spain. Phone: +34 914 888 912. Email:



Caregivers’ commitment to personal values is linked to caregivers’ well-being, although the effects of personal values on caregivers’ guilt have not been explored to date. The goal of this study is to analyze the relationship between caregivers´ commitment to personal values and guilt feelings.


Participants were 179 dementia family caregivers. Face-to-face interviews were carried out to describe sociodemographic variables and assess stressors, caregivers’ commitment to personal values and guilt feelings. Commitment to values was conceptualized as two factors (commitment to own values and commitment to family values) and 12 specific individual values (e.g. education, family or caregiving role). Hierarchical regressions were performed controlling for sociodemographic variables and stressors, and introducing the two commitment factors (in a first regression) or the commitment to individual/specific values (in a second regression) as predictors of guilt.


In terms of the commitment to values factors, the analyzed regression model explained 21% of the variance of guilt feelings. Only the factor commitment to family values contributed significantly to the model, explaining 7% of variance. With regard to the regression analyzing the contribution of specific values to caregivers’ guilt, commitment to the caregiving role and with leisure contributed negatively and significantly to the explanation of caregivers' guilt. Commitment to work contributed positively to guilt feelings. The full model explained 30% of guilt feelings variance. The specific values explained 16% of the variance.


Our findings suggest that commitment to personal values is a relevant variable to understand guilt feelings in caregivers.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2016 

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