Aging & Mental Health. Volume 27 (7). pp 1335-1343.


We explored (1) social, cultural, and economic capital in spousal carers of people with dementia; (2) profiles of carers with different levels of capital; (3) whether the identified profiles differ in levels of stress and positive experiences of caring, and likelihood of depression over time.


Baseline (2014–2016), 12-month, and 24-month follow-up data were analyzed for 984 coresident spousal carers of people with dementia. We assessed social, cultural, and economic capital, stress, positive experiences of caring, depression.


On average, carers reported infrequent social and cultural participation. Most carers were not socially isolated, trusted their neighbours, had education at least to age 16, and had an income aligned with the 2014 UK average. We identified four groups of carers with different levels of capital. Although on average stress was low, depression was infrequent, and positive experiences of caring were moderately frequent, the group of carers with lowest capital was the least stressed and reported the most positive experiences of caring over time. Compared to the two groups with better capital, those with poorer capital were more likely to be depressed over time.


Social, cultural, and economic resources may decrease likelihood of depression, but not stress, in carers of people with dementia.