Who Cares? Caregiver Well-Being in Europe

Georgiana Bostean, University of California, Irvine

This paper analyzes a multi-national sample of men and women, comparing self-reported well-being of individuals who provide dependent care to those who do not provide care. We apply data that pairs individual-level data from the 2004 European Social Survey (ESS) for respondents in 22 nations (n=32,677) with country-level measures of attitudinal preference for family-centered caregiving and economic development (GDP). Applying multi-level modeling, our paper identifies two main relationships: (1) caregiving responsibilities have differential effects by gender and the type of care provided; (2) female caregivers in countries with cultural expectations for family-centered caregiving report worse well-being. Our results demonstrate that caregivers, in particular female, are significantly disadvantaged in well-being. These findings are important in the context of Europe’s delayed fertility and aging population.

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Presented in Poster Session 5