Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Aging Studies

Major Professor

William E. Haley, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Tamara A. Baker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Yuri Jang, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Victor Molinari, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brent J. Small, Ph.D.


bereavement, caregiving, depressive symptoms, anxiety, grief, social resources


For family caregivers, response to the death of the care recipient is marked by a high degree of variability. In recognition of this variability, a range of services and interventions is available to assist individuals in the adjustment to bereavement. The present dissertation, consisting of three related studies, was conducted to examine the utilization of bereavement services by family caregivers.

The first study examined the role of psychological distress in the utilization of bereavement services by spousal caregivers in the Changing Lives of Older Couples (CLOC) study. The second study examined bereavement service utilization among dementia caregiver participants in the Resources for Enhancing Alzheimer's Caregiver Health (REACH) study. Both employed Andersen's Behavioral Model of Health Services Use. The third study examined bereavement service utilization, barriers, and preferences among bereaved spousal caregivers of patients of three hospices in Tampa Bay.

Taken together, results of the current studies point to the importance of family physicians and members of the clergy in the provision of services to bereaved family caregivers and to the prominent role of bereavement outcomes (e.g., depressive symptoms, grief) as need factors in the utilization of bereavement services.