Intrinsic spirituality among Alzheimer’s caretakers: A pathway to resiliency

  • Scott E. Wilks
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, caregiver, resiliency, social work, spirituality


The purpose of the study was to understand the influence of intrinsic spirituality on perceived resiliency among Alzheimer’s caregivers. A cross-sectional research design was employed, surveying a sample of Alzheimer’s caregivers (N=304) who attended caregiver support groups in the southeastern United States. Questionnaire items empirically measured a number of constructs, including perceived burden; frequency of prayer; intrinsic spirituality; and perceived resiliency. Demographic characteristics of the sample were reported. Over three-fourths of the sample reported a high frequency of prayer, along with a moderately high level of intrinsic spirituality. Regression analyses evaluating the relationship between spirituality and resiliency, while controlling for demographic variables, indicated a strong association and positive, significant relationship between intrinsic spirituality and resiliency. Implications for social work practice and education are discussed.