Purpose: The purposes of this study were to understand the types of coping strategies that family caregivers experience during the process of caring demented elderly: to grasp the coping strategies used for resolving this problem: and to develop a substantive theory by analyzing the coping types of the family caregivers of demented elderly. Method: The methodology of data collection and analysis used in this study was grounded theory proposed by Strauss and Corbin (1990). The data was collected through in-depth interviews with participants using open-ended and descriptive questions about their coping experiences. All data were were audio-taped and transcribed. The data were collected from February, 2000 to February, 2001. The participants of this study were 17 women. Results: Caregiver's coping types varied according to 'family's support', 'the condition of caregiver's health', 'the relationship with dementia elderly', 'family perception of dementia', 'fixed idea of traditional female role' and 'economic state'. In this study, five types of coping strategies were emerged: active role allotment tyle, meaning grant tyle, devotion tyle, duty defense type, and pessimism type. Among these, those who belong to the types of active role allotment, meaning grant, and devotion, including caregiver's good health were found to adapt themselves to caregiver roles. Conclusion: The results of this study may be helpful for developing effective and individualized nursing strategies suitable for individual caregivers coping types. It is suggested to practice nursing mediation and to analyze the changes in nursing effect and family members' adaptation based on coping types of the well-adapted caregivers as we as on their affirmative coping strategy.
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