Journal of Adult Development

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 133–143 | Cite as

Sandwich Generation Caregiving: A Complex and Dynamic Role

  • Allison M. Steiner
  • Paula C. Fletcher


The overall purpose of this study was to explore the lived experiences of sandwich generation (SG) women and the influence multigenerational caregiving had on their health behaviors. The specific purpose of this paper was to examine the roles of SG women, whom are individuals providing care to both their aging parents/in-laws and children (Sinha, Spotlight on Canadians: Results from the General Social Survey: Portrait of caregivers, 2012. Statistics Canada catalogue no. 89-652-X – No. 001, Social and Aboriginal Statistics Division, Ottawa, Ontario, 2013). This study was qualitative in nature and utilized the theoretical orientation of phenomenology. Nine SG women completed a background questionnaire and a semi-structured one-on-one interview. After critically analyzing the data, four salient themes emerged, however, this paper only focused on the theme the role of the caregiver. Five subthemes were developed from this theme: (1) Physical care; (2) “Sounding board”: Emotional aspects of caregiving; (3) Never enough time in the day; (4) Am I a caregiver to my children?; and (5) Transitions and variations in caregiving. These findings provide an in-depth understanding of the role of SG women and the complexities that occur when faced with caregiving. This study hopes to provide more knowledge to support government legislation, sandwich generation caregivers, and healthcare providers.


Sandwich generation caregiving Role Older adults Children Caregiving 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Kinesiology and Physical EducationWilfrid Laurier UniversityWaterlooCanada

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