Informal caregiving and well-being in Europe: What can ease the negative consequences for caregivers?
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Number of pages
SourceJournal of European Social Policy, 24, 5, (2014), pp. 424-441
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ RSCR SOC
Journal of European Social Policy
SubjectInequality, cohesion and modernization; Ongelijkheid, cohesie en modernisering
Against the background of an ageing society with an increasing demand for informal caregivers, this study examines (1) to what extent informal caregiving is negatively related to well-being, (2) to what extent the relationship between informal caregiving and well-being varies over countries and (3) to what extent national policies and countries' normative climates reduce the well-being gap between caregivers and non-caregivers. Analyses on the European Quality of Life Survey 2007 (N=20,396 in 18 countries), applying multilevel regression techniques, confirmed previous findings that caregivers have lower levels of well-being than non-caregivers. This relationship varied between countries. Generous availability of formal long-term resources reduces the well-being gap between caregivers and non-caregivers. Surprisingly, services that are designed to support informal caregivers do not alleviate the negative well-being consequences. A strong country-level family norm does not affect the well-being gap between caregivers and non-caregivers, but reduces the negative well-being consequences of intensive caregiving.
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