The impact of informal care-giving networks on adult children's care-giver burden

N. Tolkacheva, M.I. Broese Van Groenou, A. de Boer, T.G. van Tilburg

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Previous research on the care-giver burden experienced by adult children has typically focused on the adult child and parent dyad. This study uses information on multiple informal care-givers and examines how characteristics of the informal care-giving network affect the adult child's care-giver burden. In 2007, 602 Dutch care-givers who were assisting their older parents reported on parental and personal characteristics, care activities, experienced burden and characteristics of other informal care-givers. A path model was applied to assess the relative impact of the informal care-giving network characteristics on the care-giver burden. An adult child experienced lower care-giver burden when the informal care-giving network size was larger, when more types of tasks were shared across the network, when care was shared for a longer period, and when the adult child had no disagreements with the other members of the network. Considering that the need for care of older parents is growing, being in an informal care-giving network will be of increasing benefit for adult children involved in long-term care. More care-givers will turn into managers of care, as they increasingly have to organise the sharing of care among informal helpers and cope with disagreements among the members of the network. © 2010 Cambridge University Press.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-51
Number of pages18
JournalAgeing and Society
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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