Does the Health of Adult Child Caregivers Vary by Employment Status in the United States?

TitleDoes the Health of Adult Child Caregivers Vary by Employment Status in the United States?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsKohl, NM, Mossakowski, KN, Sanidad, II, Bird, OT, Nitz, LH
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
ISSN Number1552-6887
KeywordsAdult children, Caregiving, Employment and Labor Force, Retirement Planning and Satisfaction

OBJECTIVE: This study investigates whether the health effects of informal caregiving for aging parents vary by employment status in the United States. Two opposing hypotheses are tested: dual role strain and role enhancement.

METHOD: Using national longitudinal data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study, multivariate regression models predicted self-rated health and mental health among older adult children caregiving for their parents (2009-2012) and noncaregivers.

RESULTS: A statistically significant interaction was found between caregiving duration and employment, indicating that employed caregivers had significantly worse health than retired caregivers. Caregiving duration also predicted significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms.

DISCUSSION: Our results support the dual role strain hypothesis and suggest that caregiving for a parent up to 4 years is enough to predict significantly worse health among older adult Baby Boomers, especially those in the labor force. The broader implications for public health and workplace policies are discussed.

User Guide Notes

Alternate JournalJ Aging Health
Citation Key9753
PubMed ID29972080