Jennifer Gross, PsyD, is a 2020 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Chris Heffner, PsyD, PhD, Committee Chair


optimism; caregiver strain; caregiver burden; parenting; unipolar mood disorder; survey research

Document Type


Publication Date



An anonymous online survey investigated optimism and caregiver strain in parents of youth and young adults diagnosed with anxiety and unipolar depression. Caregiver strain is a

well-researched phenomenon where the experience of parenting youth with serious psychological disorders has a potentially negative impact on parents and caregivers. Optimism is a trait that confers resiliency and improved coping to the individual. The relationship between caregiver strain and optimism is not well understood. This inquiry utilized the Caregiver Strain Questionnaire (CGSQ) to measure caregiver strain and the Life Orientation Test, Revised

(LOT-R) to measure optimism. Participants endorsed significantly higher scores on the CGSQ subscale Subjective Externalized Strain (SES) and Subjective Internalized Strain (SIS), scales that collect data on the internal and external psychological experience of parents. Parents of youth with more than one psychological diagnosis endorsed higher SIS scores and reduced

LOT-R scores. LOT-R scores were negatively correlated across all three CGSQ subscales; parents who endorsed higher caregiver strain also endorsed lower optimism. This dissertation is available open access at AURA, and Ohio Link ETD Center,


Jennifer Gross, Psy.D., 2020

ORCID Scholar ID #0000-0003-0771-7883