1st Edition

Working Couples Caring for Children and Aging Parents
Effects on Work and Well-Being

ISBN 9780805846041
Published October 26, 2006 by Psychology Press
400 Pages

USD $58.95

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Book Description

As the baby boomer generation approaches midlife, many dual-earner couples are struggling with issues of simultaneously caring for children while tending to aging parents. This timely book uncovers the circumstances faced by these workers, known as the “sandwiched generation”, and identifies what they need in order to fulfill their work and family responsibilities. Authors Margaret B. Neal and Leslie B. Hammer suggest the workplace as an arena for change, proposing that it adapt to the situations of today’s workers by providing flexibility and understanding the needs and priorities of families.

Based on a four-year national study funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Working Couples Caring for Children and Aging Parents examines:

  • employer and governmental initiatives affecting work and family life in the United States;
  • supports provided to working caregivers in countries other than the United States;
  • the effects of being “sandwiched” on work-family fit, well-being, and work; and
  • changes in work and family roles and outcomes over time.

This book will interest a broad audience, including students, policymakers, family care practitioners, IO psychologists, work-life professionals, gerontologists, sociologists, human resource managers, and occupational health psychologists.

Table of Contents

Contents: Series Foreword. K. Christensen, Foreword. Preface. Part I: Introduction. The "Sandwiched Generation": Introduction. Employer and Governmental Initiatives Affecting Work and Family Life in the United States. A Brief Overview of Supports Provided to Working Caregivers in Countries Other Than the United States. Theoretical Perspectives on the Work-Family Interface and Conceptual Framework for the Book. Part II: Findings From a National Study. Who Are Working, "Sandwiched-Generation" Couples? How Couples Are Doing: The Effects of Being "Sandwiched" on Work-Family Fit, Well-Being, and Work. Development of a Model of Work-Family Coping Strategies and Advice From Couples. Work-Family Coping Strategies: What Are the Effects on Work-Family Fit, Well-Being, and Work. Workplace Supports: Effects on Work-Family Fit, Well-Being, and Work. Changes in Work and Family Roles and Outcomes Over Time. Part III: Effecting Change: Where Do We Go From Here? Summary of Major Findings and Recommendations for Next Steps. Appendices: Study Methods and Measures. Survey Instruments (Waves 1 and 2). Tables.

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"...provides a pretty definitive look at sandwich generation couples. Neal and Hammer do a wonderful job of simplifying the presentation.....well-written piece of work."
Sloan News

"The topic is timely. Given the tendency for many couples to delay becoming parents until their 30s or even 40s, and the increased longevity of the grandparent generation, a small but significant number of dual-earner families face the challenge of providing care to both generations. This group may grow in the coming years. The interdisciplinary nature of the authorship team is a plus, enabling them to discuss their findings in ways that will interest a wide audience."

Ann C. Crouter
Center for Work and Family Research, Pennsylvania State University

"The qualitative elements combined with the quantitative data should make the work accessible to a broad audience."

Donna L. Wagner
Director of Gerontology, Towson University

"This is a very thorough and well-organized volume that has relevance to research regarding work and family. The book's most unique feature is the focus on dual-career couples with multiple caregiver roles. It is also unique in that it tackles this topic in a comprehensive manner through the lens of a large-scale, well-designed study. The study design features are notable in that both qualitative and quantitative work was done, both members of the couple were included in the study, and multiple waves of data were collected. The book succeeds in presenting complex issues in a seamless and highly readable manner."

Tammy Allen
Department of Psychology, University of South Florida