An Intersectional Approach to Understanding the Psychological Health Effects of Combining Work and Parental Caregiving.

TitleAn Intersectional Approach to Understanding the Psychological Health Effects of Combining Work and Parental Caregiving.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of PublicationForthcoming
AuthorsBrady, S, Patskanick, T, Coughlin, JF
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology, Series B, Psychological Sciences and social sciences
ISSN Number1758-5368
KeywordsEmployment, Family caregiving, Intersectionality, Mental Health
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Role theory suggests occupying simultaneous family caregiving and employment roles in midlife may exert positive and negative effects on psychological health. However, there is a lack of causal evidence examining the degree to which combinations of these roles influence psychological health at the intersection of gender and racial identity.

METHODS: Longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study (2004-2018) are used to estimate a series of individual fixed effects models examining combinations of employment status and parental caregiving situation on CES-D depression scores among Black and White men and women aged 50-65. Subsequent models were stratified by intensity of caregiving situation and work schedule.

RESULTS: Individual fixed effects models demonstrate combining work and parental caregiving is associated with greater depressive symptoms than only working, and with lower depressive symptoms than only caregiving, suggesting that paid employment exerts a protective effect on psychological health while parental caregiving may be a risk factor for depressive symptoms in later life. Analyses using an intersectional lens found that combining paid work with parental caregiving exerted a protective effect on CES-D scores among White women and men regardless of participants' intensity of care situation or work schedule. This effect was not present for Black men and women.

DISCUSSION: Accounting for intersectionality is imperative to research on family caregiving, work, and psychological health.

DOI10.1093/geronb/gbae042
Citation Key13845
PubMed ID38518119