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Journal of Family and Economic Issues

, Volume 36, Issue 1, pp 5–20 | Cite as

The Costs of Caring: Caregiver Strain and Work-Family Conflict Among Canadian Workers

  • Paul GlavinEmail author
  • Amanda Peters
Original Paper

Abstract

We analyzed survey data from a nationally representative study of Canadian labor force participants (n = 5,667) to examine the social distribution and mental health of those who provide unpaid health-related care to a family member or relative. As part of these analyses, we investigated gender differences in the association between caregiving frequency and mental health. Multivariate analyses revealed evidence that women caregivers experienced greater health penalties than men with care commitments. Mediation analyses further indicated that work-family conflict fully explained the caregiver strain experienced by men, while it only partially accounted for caregiver strain among women. These results extend previous research that has documented differences in the duties and experiences of men and women caregivers. We discuss direct empathetic crossover as a potential contributory factor for women’s caregiving strain.

Keywords

Caregiving Mental health Work-family conflict 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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