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2016 Conference Presentation

Informal care Japan

5 September 2016

Comparing the burdens of two groups of Japanese family caregivers of the elderly: biological daughters vs daughters-in-law

Seiritsu Ogura, Hosei University, Japan


For more than a century, daughters-in-law had been playing the role of the caregivers of the elderly in Japanese families, but, in the last three decades, they have been gradually replaced by spouses and biological daughters. The increased importance of spouses is presumably due to disappearing multi-generation families, but that of biological daughters seem to be more complex.

The objective of this study is to identify these reasons, with the help of Caregiver Reaction Assessment, a multi-dimensional psychometric instrument of family caregivers experience. The data we have used is a sub-sample of more than 400 primary caregivers who are either biological daughters and daughters-in-law of the elderly, extracted from more than four thousand national data of caregivers collected in 2011 and 2012.

Through our analysis, we have found that the most significant difference in the two groups is the labor market status prior to caregiving, and the magnitude of positive assessment after the caregiving began, while the changes in labor market status of the two groups are similar. It seems reasonable to conclude that more biological daughters quit their jobs to take care of their parents, while more daughters-in-law decline to take care of them because of their jobs.

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