Psychosocial moderators of the effects of transitioning into filial caregiving on mental and physical health

Nadine F. Marks, James David Lambert, Heyjung Jun, Song Jieun Song

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


A life-course theoretical perspective guided this study to examine how effects on mental and physical health (depressive symptoms, hostility, global happiness, self-esteem, personal mastery, psychological wellness, self-rated physical health) of transitioning into filial caregiving for a sole surviving parent are moderated by prior relationship quality, filial obligation, race or ethnicity, education, income, employment status, marital status, and parental status. Results from models estimated using longitudinal data from 1,060 adults aged 25 to 65 years at baseline (National Survey of Families and Households, 1987 to 1994) suggested that life-course and contextual factors do contribute to patterning health risks of caregiving, often in different ways for men and women: For example, low income puts daughter caregivers at greater risk for decline in physical health, combining employment with filial caregiving is more problematic for daughters' mental health, and being an unmarried filial caregiver is more problematic for men. Heterogeneity in the experience of filial care needs further attention in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)358-389
Number of pages32
JournalResearch on Aging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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