Alliance and Suicide Prevention Lab

Graduate Students

Undergraduate Honors Thesis Projects

Self-perceived Burden as a Mediator of Depressive Symptoms Among Individuals Living with a Movement Disorder

By Laurie Dempsey, B.A.

An Undergraduate Honors Thesis Defended 2009

Project Overview

The objectives of this study were to identify the most important predictors of self-perceived burden and to examine the role of self-perceived burden in mediating the association of functional impairment with symptoms of depression in individuals with chronic movement disorders.  One hundred fourteen individuals with chronic movement disorders completed paper-and-pencil measures of psychological distress, functional impairment, and perceived burden.  Mediation regression analyses supported self-perceived burden as mediating the association of functional impairment with depressive symptoms.  Findings highlight self-perceived burden as a critical factor relative to individual's adaptation to chronic illness. Future research should investigate risk and protective factors of perceived burden, as well as its role in interpersonal relationships.