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How do caregiving responsibilities affect women’s work–family spillovers over the life course?

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Duan, H.
Publication Date: 
12 Aug 2021

Excerpt from Abstract

Using three waves of data from the Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS 1995–2014, N =1,123), this study investigates the linkage between caregiving and women’s positive and negative work–family spillovers over the life course. Results show that women’s work–family experiences are not only shaped by caregiving itself but also depend on the timing when they take these roles: the effect of raising school-aged children on negative family-to-work spillover (FWS) is the highest in the 40s, and the effect of raising adolescent children on positive work-to-family spillover (WFS) is the lowest in the 50s. Providing financial support to parents increases both negative FWS and negative WFS, and the effects are highest in their 20s and 65+, respectively. Providing emotional care and unpaid assistance to parents can enhance women’s positive FWS in their 40s. This study’s findings suggest that timing and linked-lives both play strong roles in shaping women’s work–family experiences.