|Formal and Informal Volunteer Activity and Spousal Caregiving Among Older Adults
|Year of Publication
|Choi, NG, Burr, JA, Mutchler, JE, Caro, FG
|Research on Aging
|Adult children, Healthcare
On the basis of data from the 1998 and 2000 waves of the Health and Retirement Study, this study tested two alternative hypotheses, role overload and role extension, about the relationship between volunteering and spousal caregiving among older married persons. Spousal caregiving was not significantly associated with the likelihood of formal or informal volunteering for men; however, female caregivers were found to be less likely than noncaregivers to have engaged in formal or informal volunteering to a certain extent, thus lending partial support to the role overload hypothesis. Functional health status and other human and cultural capital resources were significant predictors of both formal and informal volunteering for both men and women. Future studies need to examine in more depth the effect of spousal caregiving on volunteering, taking caregiving burden and stress into consideration, to more fully understand these two types of productive activity in later life.