A1 Journal article (refereed)
Muistisairauden aiheuttamat käyttäytymisen muutokset ja parisuhteen vastavuoroisuus (2022)
Behavioural changes caused by dementia and the reciprocity of a couplehood

Eskola, P., Jolanki, O., Van Aerschot, L., & Aaltonen, M. (2022). Muistisairauden aiheuttamat käyttäytymisen muutokset ja parisuhteen vastavuoroisuus. Gerontologia, 36(4), 344-361. https://doi.org/10.23989/gerontologia.114513

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsEskola, Päivi; Jolanki, Outi; Van Aerschot, Lina; Aaltonen, Mari

Journal or seriesGerontologia



Publication year2022

Publication date09/12/2022


Issue number4

Pages range344-361

PublisherKasvun ja vanhenemisen tutkijat

Publication countryFinland

Publication languageFinnish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessOpen Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/84672

Additional informationArtikkelit


Usually, the spouse is the first to face the cognitive and personality changes associated with their partner´s dementia, which may manifest as behavioural changes. In this qualitative study, we examined in which situations disruptive behavioural symptoms caused by dementia appear and how they affect the reciprocity of spouses. The theory of social exchange was used to interpret the data. Disruptive symptoms were mentioned only in interviews of couples in which the spouse with dementia was the husband. Although the spousal carers expected that their partner’s behaviour might change with the illness, the behavioural symptoms came as a surprise. Behavioural symptoms appeared in situations where the partner with dementia tried to control the activities of their spousal carer, when the spousal carer had to advise and guide the partner´s daily routines, or limit what the partner with dementia was doing. Behavioural changes also appeared when the partner with dementia had to face his own illness. The theory of social exchange emphasizes reciprocity as the basis of an intimate relationship. When one of the spouses had dementia that causes disruptive behavioural changes, reciprocity was not possible. The spousal carer has to come up with various strategies to cope with daily life and avoid conflicts. These situations and efforts may not be recognized at all by the person with dementia. The strong emotional ties associated with a long-term intimate relationship make the spousal carers stay in the relationship.

Keywordspeople with memory disordersmemory loss diseasessymptomsbehaviourpersonalitycaring for close relativesinformal carersspousescouple relationship

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Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-30-04 at 19:27