Objective: Positive emotions and feelings of competence seem to play an important role in the well-being of caregivers of people with dementia. Both are likely to fluctuate constantly throughout the caretaking process. Unlike standard retrospective methods, momentary assessments in daily life can provide insight into these moment-to-moment fluctuations. Therefore, in this study both retrospective and momentary assessments were used to examine the relationship between caregivers' sense of competence and their experienced positive affect (PA) in daily life. Methods: Thirty Dutch caregivers provided momentary data on PA and daily sense of competence ratings for 6 consecutive days using the experience sampling methodology. Additionally, they reported retrospectively on their sense of competence with a traditional questionnaire. Results: A positive association was found between retrospective and daily measured sense of competence. Caregivers reported corresponding levels of sense of competence on both measures. Both daily and retrospective sense of competence were positively associated with the experienced levels of PA. However, daily sense of competence appeared to be the strongest predictor. Regarding the variability in PA, only daily sense of competence showed a significant association, with a higher daily sense of competence predicting a more stable PA pattern. Conclusion: This study provides support for redirecting caregiver support interventions toward enhancement of positive rather than negative experiences and focusing more on caregivers' momentary emotional experiences. Momentary assessments are a valuable addition to standard retrospective measures and provide a more comprehensive and dynamic view of caregiver functioning.
- momentary assessment
- experience sampling methodology
- sense of competence
- positive affect
- ECOLOGICAL MOMENTARY ASSESSMENT
- RETROSPECTIVE RECALL