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Interpersonal Conflicts Among Family Caregivers of the Elderly: The Importance of Social Skills* * Article derived from the first author's doctoral dissertation, under supervision of the second and co-supervision of the third co-authors, and defended in 2016 in the Graduate Program in Psychology at the Universidade Federal de São Carlos.

Conflitos Interpessoais no Cuidado de Idosos: Importância das Habilidades Sociais do Cuidador

Conflictos Interpersonales en el Cuidado de Personas Mayores: La Importancia de las Habilidades Sociales del Cuidador

Abstract

Caring for someone, even when this person is highly regarded, can be stressful, resulting in a decrease in the caregiver's quality of life. The aim of this study was to identify the main conflicts involved in the task of caring for an elderly relative, reported by caregivers, elderly care-recipients and professionals in the field of aging, and to identify social skills (SS) considered as being important to accomplish this task, helping to minimize the conflicts in this context. We interviewed 50 caregivers of the elderly, 25 elderly care-recipients, and 25 professionals in the field of aging, who answered questions about conflicts linked to this context and about SS that are important when taking care of an elderly person. The main conflicts involved difficulties to reconcile differences of opinion, or financial issues. The SSs considered most useful included: expressing positive feelings, controlling aggressiveness, and discussing problems. It will be important to verify if caregivers who develop their SS repertoire also improve their quality of life.

Keywords
caregivers; aged; social skills; conflict; quality of life

Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Filosofia Ciências e Letras de Ribeirão Preto, Programa de Pós-Graduação em Psicologia Av.Bandeirantes 3900 - Monte Alegre, 14040-901 Ribeirão Preto - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 16) 3315-3829 - Ribeirão Preto - SP - Brazil
E-mail: paideia@usp.br