9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN01 Ageing in Europe

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Care for Older People, Work and the Family Building II, C5.06

Positive and negative impact of caregiving for elderly parents on working carers - an ethnic comparison

Introduction: This research examined the impact of elder care on working carers in mid life in two ethnic groups in Israel. Specifically, impact on life and job satisfaction. The increase in the aging population, caregiving role for an elderly parent is added to other roles of midlife adults. In Israel, as in other Western countries, changes in family structures are occurring, even though, Israel is still a familistic society. The Jewish and Arab populations are similar in some aspects like familial traditions and filial obligations regarding elder care, but different in other respects such as personal resources or utilization of formal services. Additionally, the Arabs are a society in transition from a traditional, rural and familistic community moving towards modernity.
Design and Method: The sample included 326 male and female employees, Jewish and Arabs caring for an elderly parent. Data were collected through personal interviews with a structured questionnaire which included the following areas: work-family conflict, role balance, job satisfaction, life satisfaction, demographics and health condition.
Results: The results revealed that while the work-family conflict was negatively correlated with life satisfaction and job satisfaction, the role balance was positively correlated only with life satisfaction. Moreover, significant differences were found between the two groups. Among the Arabs, the work-family conflict was higher, and the role balance lower, compared to the Jewish sample. In addition, job satisfaction was higher among the Arabs, but non significant differences on life satisfaction were found.
Conclusion: The main findings point to the positive as well as the negative impact of combining work and care, and ethnic differences in this context. The changes occurring in the Arab society may explain the higher level of work-family conflict, There is a need to help family members in caring for their elders. Therefore, we have to develop new policy on the state level, as in the workplace. Moreover, there is a greater need to expand and develop more formal services for working carers in the Arab population.