I Feel Your Pain: The Moderating Effect of Care Recipient Health on the Relationship between Work Hours and Care Recipient and Caregiver Psychological Outcomes

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Abstract

Public policy based on a pro-work philosophy has encouraged the employment of people with disabilities.  Using a national sample of 170 care recipient–caregiver cohabiting dyads, we investigated a model linking the care recipient's weekly work hours (0–45) to the psychological outcomes experienced by the care recipient and his or her caregiver.  For care recipients in poor health, longer work hours were associated with a lower sense of accomplishment. Further, the negative psychological outcomes experienced by the care recipient were associated with greater caregiver stress. These results suggest that public policy concerning the employment of people with disabilities should be evaluated within the context of the caregiving relationship.  Efforts to engage people with disabilities in employment should be accompanied by strategies to remove workplace stressors that negatively impact care recipients in poor health.

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