ERIC Number: ED341942
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Aug
Perceptions of Caregivers of Elderly Parents by College Students: Effects of Caregiver Gender, Type of Care and Presence of Children.
Etaugh, Claire; Spinner, Maureen
In recent years, the increasingly important role of the family in caring for the frail elderly has been well-documented. In the present study, young adult college students were asked to evaluate a hypothetical employed, married, middle-aged parent who was described as providing care for an elderly parent. The effects of three caretaker characteristics on perceptions of the stimulus person were examined by means of a series of vignettes which varied according to gender of caretaker, type of caregiving arrangement, and presence or absence of children in the caregiver's home. College students (N=240), including 144 females and 96 males, evaluated a briefly depicted stimulus person on bipolar scales that described personality traits, job performance characteristics, and role overload variables. Each participant rated one of eight employed married adults who was described as either female or male, either providing care for an elderly mother (primary caregiver), or hiring someone to provide such care (secondary caregiver), and as having two children who either still lived or no longer lived at home. Women were viewed as experiencing more role overload than men. Primary caregivers were perceived as experiencing more role overload, as being less job-oriented, and as being more nurturant than secondary caregivers. These findings are important, for they are perhaps the first to indicate that others are aware of the stresses experienced by middle-aged elder caregivers, especially women. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (99th, San Francisco, CA, August 16-20, 1991).