Time Use and Health among Caregivers of Middle-Aged and Older Adults

I-Fen Lin, Bowling Green State University
Anna M. Hammersmith, Bowling Green State University

Caregiving is a stressful experience, and stress is detrimental to caregivers’ well-being. Prior studies have documented the negative association between caregiving and health outcomes, but the mechanism is poorly understood. One possible mechanism is that many caregivers forgo or limit the time they spend on sleep and leisure that is essential to maintain health and well-being. Caregivers who squeeze in time to sleep, relax, and exercise and caregivers who catch up on these activities during the days they do not provide care may have better health than those who do not. Using the newly-released time diary data from the 2012 ATUS, we examine how noncaregivers, active-caregivers (who are caregivers and provide care during the diary day), and off-caregivers (who are caregivers but do not provide care during the diary day) spend time on sleep and leisure as well as how their allocation of time on these activities relates to health.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity