A Comparison of Physical Health Outcomes for Caregiving Parents and Caregiving Adult Children

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Abstract

Using data from the National Survey of Midlife Development in the United States and using the stress process model, this study compared caregiving parents and caregiving adult children with regard to health outcomes. The study sample consisted of 74 caregiving parents and 219 caregiving adult children. Predictors included type of family relationship, provision of activities of daily living, duration of caregiving, and family demands. Social support did not mediate the relations between significant predictor variables and health outcomes. The type of family relationship was associated with health outcomes with caregiving parents demonstrating poorer self-perceived health and more chronic conditions than caregiving adult children. Perceived family demands were associated with increased number of chronic conditions for caregiving adult children and caregiving parents. Unlike previous studies that measured objective family demands, perceived family demands was found to have a strong association with the number of chronic health conditions for both groups of caregivers.

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