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Explaining the Gender Gap in the Caregiving Burden of Partner Caregivers

Author

Listed:
  • Joukje Swinkels
  • Theo van Tilburg
  • Ellen Verbakel
  • Marjolein Broese van Groenou

Abstract

Objectives We examine gender differences in the experienced burden of partner caregivers using the stress-appraisal model. Gender differences can be explained by differences in conditions of burden (primary stressors, help from others, hours of caregiving, and secondary stressors) and how strong their effects are. Method The data are from the Netherlands’ Older Persons and Informal Caregivers Survey—Minimum Data Set (N = 1,611 caregivers). We examine mediation and moderation effects using structural equation modeling. Results Women experience greater partner caregiver burden than men, which is related to women experiencing more secondary stressors (relational and financial problems, problems combining different tasks). For women and men alike, there is a positive association between burden and more primary stressors (partner’s care need indicated by health impairment), help from other caregivers, and secondary stressors. For male caregivers, caregiving intensity also contributes to a greater burden. Discussion This study corroborates the structural impact of gender on the conditions of as well as their effects on the partner caregiver burden. Reducing the hours of caregiving for male caregivers in severe care situations and helping female and male caregivers deal emotionally with the caregiving situation can reduce the partner caregiver burden.

Suggested Citation

  • Joukje Swinkels & Theo van Tilburg & Ellen Verbakel & Marjolein Broese van Groenou, 2019. "Explaining the Gender Gap in the Caregiving Burden of Partner Caregivers," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 74(2), pages 309-317.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:geronb:v:74:y:2019:i:2:p:309-317.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/geronb/gbx036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Martin Pinquart & Silvia Sörensen, 2006. "Gender Differences in Caregiver Stressors, Social Resources, and Health: An Updated Meta-Analysis," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 61(1), pages 33-45.
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