Acquired and Persistent Eldercare Demands: Impact on Worker Well-Being

J Appl Gerontol. 2020 Apr;39(4):357-367. doi: 10.1177/0733464819870034. Epub 2019 Aug 19.


Eldercare demands (ECD) may result in stress when finite resources needed to fulfill life roles (i.e., family, work) become scarce. ECD may be acquired, continue over time, or be relinquished. They thus may represent acute stress (immediate, severe) or chronic stress (persistent, milder). Workers at six U.S. manufacturing companies completed surveys (N = 520). ECD were operationalized as providing assistance to an adult aged 65+ years due to disability or illness. Workers were categorized into four ECD groups (persistent, relinquished, acquired, and none), and we examined the ECD groups' association with person-centric and work-centric outcomes. Respondents with acquired ECD had worse mental health and greater depressive symptoms than those with none, and those with persistent ECD had greater work stress and family-work conflict than those with none. Findings suggesting that acute stress is more related to person-centric outcomes and chronic stress is more related to work-centric outcomes could inform development of tailored interventions.

Keywords: conservation of resources; depressive symptoms; eldercare; family–work conflict; informal caregiving; job performance; manufacturing workers; mental health; sleep quality; work stress.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Depression*
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Nursing*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction
  • Stress, Psychological*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work Performance