Appraisal and Goal Processes as Predictors of Psychological Well-Being in Bereaved Caregivers
Narratives of 30 caregivers were scored for appraisals and coping responses following the death of their partners from AIDS. Appraisals were identified as valenced beliefs, emotions, and goal outcomes, whereas coping responses included goals and plans of action. The proportion of positive appraisals predicted long-term goals and plans and psychological well-being at both bereavement and 12 months later. Positive appraisals were correlated with positive morale and positive states of mind. The latter were negatively correlated with partner-centered, short-term plans. Positive appraisals were negatively correlated with depressive mood. Caregivers, who reported proportionately more positive appraisals during caregiving and after the loss of their partner, were more likely to have future- and self-oriented goals and plans and to demonstrate positive well-being at bereavement and better recovery 12 months later than were those who reported more negative appraisals.