Race/ethnicity and marital status in IADL caregiver networks

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By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Racial/ethnic variations in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) caregiver network composition were examined in a nationally representative sample of elders, using task specificity and hierarchical compensatory theoretical perspectives. Logistic regressions tested network differences among White, Black, and Mexican American elders (n = 531 married, n = 800 unmarried). Findings concerning racial/ethnic differences were partially dependent on marital status, differentiation of spouses from other informal helpers among married elders, and which racial/ethnic groups were compared. Networks including formal caregivers did not differentiate married or unmarried Black from White elders but were more common among unmarried Mexican American elders than for comparable White and Black elders. Married Black elders with solely informal networks were more likely than comparable White elders to have informal helpers other than the spouse. Racial/ethnic similarities and differences in caregiver networks are discussed relative to their sociocultural context, including marital status, elder’s and spouse’s health, and financial resources.

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