Family members have a considerable impact on the health and well-being of others in the family. The characteristics of family caregivers that relate to care recipients' positive and negative outcomes associated with chronic disease have received scant empirical attention. We reasoned that family caregiver social problem solving abilities would be associated with depression and life satisfaction reported by persons with congestive heart failure (CHF). Correlational analyses found that caregiver negative orientation toward solving problems was significantly predictive of higher depression and with decreased life satisfaction of persons with CHF. These findings indicate that family caregiver problem solving abilities are important factors in adjustment following CHF. Implications for clinical interventions and theoretical models of problem solving are discussed. © 2004 Springer Science+Business Media Inc.