Setting and objective: In Italy, over the last decades, elderly care has been mostly provided by family members, especially adult offspring, and in particular daughters. This paper investigates the relationship between informal caregiving and mental distress among Italians aged 35–59, with a focus on gender effect and parenthood responsibilities. Data: The dataset is the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS), second wave, year 2015. As far as it is known, the Italian EHIS has not been used for studies on ageing and caregiving. Methods: Using selected subsamples, a Propensity Score Matching between caregivers and non-caregivers aged 35–59 is implemented, with the aim of measuring the difference in level of depression, if any, between the two groups. Results: Findings show that women providing their frail relatives with informal care are less likely to suffer from mental distress compared to non-carers. However, results change radically if they have children aged less than 15 at home, and a higher probability of being depressed is detected for women overwhelmed by the double responsibility of assisting both dependent relatives and their own children. Results are not significant for men.

Should I care for my mum or for my kid? Sandwich generation and depression burden in Italy

Brenna E.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Setting and objective: In Italy, over the last decades, elderly care has been mostly provided by family members, especially adult offspring, and in particular daughters. This paper investigates the relationship between informal caregiving and mental distress among Italians aged 35–59, with a focus on gender effect and parenthood responsibilities. Data: The dataset is the European Health Interview Survey (EHIS), second wave, year 2015. As far as it is known, the Italian EHIS has not been used for studies on ageing and caregiving. Methods: Using selected subsamples, a Propensity Score Matching between caregivers and non-caregivers aged 35–59 is implemented, with the aim of measuring the difference in level of depression, if any, between the two groups. Results: Findings show that women providing their frail relatives with informal care are less likely to suffer from mental distress compared to non-carers. However, results change radically if they have children aged less than 15 at home, and a higher probability of being depressed is detected for women overwhelmed by the double responsibility of assisting both dependent relatives and their own children. Results are not significant for men.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11571/1480382
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