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Older Caregiving Parents: Division of Household Labor, Marital Satisfaction, and Caregiver Burden*


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    Collection of the data on which this article is based was supported by a grant from the National Institute on Aging (R01 AG08768) to Marsha Mailick Seltzer and Marty Wyngaarden Krauss. The authors gratefully acknowledge Dr. Seltzer and Dr. Krauss for making the data available for this study and thank Dr. Jan S. Greenberg, Dr. Lydia Li, and Dr. Carol Rippey Massat for their thoughtful comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript.

**Elizabeth Lehr Essex is an Assistant Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work (MC 309), 1040 West Harrison St., Chicago, IL, 60607-7134 ( Jinkuk Hong, Phd, is an Associate Researcher at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.


Abstract: Based on a sample of 126 families, this study investigated how division of household labor is related to marital satisfaction and caregiving burden among older married parents caring for adult children with intellectual disabilities. For mothers, greater spousal participation in household work and satisfaction with the division of labor were positively related to marital satisfaction. Satisfaction with division of labor also appeared to buffer maternal caregiving stress, decreasing the relationship between behavior problems of the adult child and caregiver burden. For fathers, there was no relationship between division of household labor and marital satisfaction. Behavior problems of the adult child predicted paternal caregiving burden only when men were satisfied with the labor division. Practice implications for professionals working with older caregiving parents are discussed.