Date: August 2003
Creator: Worthen, Laura T.
Description: Guided by the life course perspective, this study examined the frequency of caregiving provided by older adults to kin and non-kin. A telephone survey produced a random sample of adults 60 years of age and older, which was predominantly White, with higher income and education levels (n = 278). Bivariate and multivariate analyses tested the impact of demographic characteristics and other variables, conceptualized as physical, human, and social capital, on the frequency of caregiving. Gender, age, health, limitations, education, income, household composition, social contact, and reciprocity were analyzed in multinomial logistic regressions. Caregiving was defined as care provided to sick or disabled persons, with frequency of providing care classified as often, sometimes, and never. The majority of older adults provided at least some care to others over a one-year period, with almost one-third doing so often and only one-quarter never doing so. Most provided care to more than one person, with over one-quarter providing care to multiple friends only. Age failed to predict caregiving involvement when physical and social capital variables were considered. The odds of often providing care are higher for women, although gender did not predict those who never provided care. Having at least some college only significantly ...
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