Title page for ETD etd-06162001-141734

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Almada, Alicia Zulema
Author's Email Address aalmada@vt.edu
URN etd-06162001-141734
Title Gender and Caregiving: a Study Among Hispanic and Non-Hispanic White Frail Elders
Degree Master of Science
Department Sociology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Calasanti, Toni M. Committee Chair
de Wolf, Peggy L. Committee Member
Fuller, Theodore D. Committee Member
  • caregiving
  • non-Hispanic Whites
  • elders
  • Hispanics
  • gender
Date of Defense 2001-06-13
Availability unrestricted
As the number of elderly people increases, the need for care of frail elders also rises. When looking at elder care, feminist scholars have pointed to the need to consider not only the caregiver's gender, but also the interlocking power relations of gender and raceethnicity. For these reasons, this study addresses the following question: how does raceethnicity influence the relationship of gender and care of frail elders? Analysis of data on Hispanic (N=182) and non-Hispanic White (N=1252) frail elders, and their caregiver spouses (N=74 and N=742, respectively) and children (N=150 and N=654, respectively) taken from a study of a nationally representative sample of noninstitutionalzed elders (AHEAD), reveals that women (wives and daughters) are more likely than men (husbands and sons) to be the caregivers of Hispanic and of non-Hispanic White elders. With respect to the type of tasks involved in caregiving, the study shows that among non-Hispanic White elders, husbands are indeed involved in the personal care of their wives, and that daughters are more likely than sons to provide assistance with these tasks. Among Hispanic elders, husbands are more likely than wives to help with managing money. The study also reveals that daughters spend more total hours caring for their frail elders than sons do. Importantly, this study shows that daughters of Hispanic elders provide about 1.5 times more hours per week of care to their parents than daughters of non-Hispanic White elders. I also examined how the caregiver's gender interacts with their work status, marital status and number of children to affect the amount of time spent in caregiving, but did not find any significant relationships.
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