Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Science

Dissertation Committee

Patricia A. Roth, EdD, RN, Chair; Mary Jo Clark, PhD, RN; Mary Ann Hautman, PhD, RN


caregivers, culture, families & family life, nursing, parents-in-law, Taiwanese, women


Using grounded theory, a semi-structured in-depth interview was conducted to explore the experiences of Taiwanese women who were caregivers for their parents-in-law. Thirty-one Taiwanese women aged 23 to 58 participated in this study. Just Doing was identified as the core category to indicate the caregivers' striving process once they committed to their in-laws' care. Recognizing Duty, Experiencing Trials, and Responding to Caregiving were subcategories and reflected how a caregiver perceived her role, how she was affected by caregiving tasks, and what responses she had to the caregiving situation. The findings also suggested that caregiving behaviors were influenced by cultural expectations when the parent-in-law was ill. Being Called, a condition in this study, indicated that caregiving tasks were started when the caregiver recognized providing care was her duty. Caring For reflected the context for providing daily comfort, keeping watch, as well as seeking assistance if needed. The category of Holding Up involved the ability to persevere in providing care and was influenced by the depth of family relationships, their appreciation and degree of reinforcement. The extent of the difficulties and the resources for care also affected the ability to continue caring. Additionally, the strategy of Keeping Harmony, was adopted by caregivers to comfort themselves and cope with their caregiving difficulties. This category reflected Taiwanese women's fatalism and optimism in meeting the daily care needs of a parent-in-law. Maintaining Filial Pity was identified as a consequence of a caregiver's experience in fulfilling her duty. As a daughter-in-law, she was able to establish an inner peace or serenity. If this was not possible, she continued to have inner conflict and perceived her life as one of sacrifice. This story of Taiwanese women caregivers' experiences may be beneficial in facilitating the development of a comprehensive policy for long-term care. These women's voices will be helpful in forming the basis for nursing intervention strategies for individual and family care. Recommendations for future research focus on cultural determinants of caregiving roles and coping strategies.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access



Included in

Nursing Commons