Title: Is caregiving by baby boomer women related to the presence of depressive symptoms? Reporting
chi Chiao and Yun-Yu Chen
Digital ID: 10.1186/s12905-018-0696-8
WeChat Link: A recent global survey of data published by
BMC Womens Health found a correlation between depressive symptoms in baby boomers (mid-1940s and mid-1960s) and their care responsibilities, which are also influenced by social, cultural, educational, employment and other factors. The next share focuses on this finding and its implications for public health decision-making.
Caregiving, which provides unpaid assistance to relatives or acquaintances with physical, mental or developmental disabilities or needs, is essential for social stability. The total value of unpaid care is estimated to be about $3.2 trillion in the US, up from ￡57bn in the UK. But several studies have shown that caregiver behavior increases the mental stress of caregivers. This issue is particularly important for women, as in many countries and cultures the vast majority of care responsibilities are borne by women.
"baby boomers" refer to social groups born between 1946 and 1964 who grew up in a period of rapid global growth after the Second World War. Compared with previous generations, "baby boomers" are generally more educated and have a higher proportion of managerial and professional positions. This trend has prompted baby boomers to look for other forms of care, such as nursing homes, life support, childcare centres, etc., to balance work and family. To study mental health needs in specific situations, Chi Chiao and Yun-Yu Chen surveyed the psychological stress and care of baby boomers.
based on global aging data, Chiao and Chen analyzed eight databases containing data and related variables from the baby boomer population;
interestingly, married or working alone was associated with low levels of depression, but married and working women were more likely to develop depressive symptoms.
addition, with the improvement of educational level, the likelihood of depressive symptoms gradually decreased, which highlighted the important role of education. In terms of employment status, women are at higher risk of developing depression in countries where women are disproportionately employed in professional or managerary positions, or where women are in precarious occupations (unpaid family work or self-employment).
researchers point out that these results can be explained by the work-family conflict model: women's work and family responsibilities often conflict, leading to increased stress in women and therefore more prone to depressive symptoms.
Although more research is needed to verify this, the results of the study highlight the protective effect of education, employment and marriage as independent factors on the mental health of baby boomers, and the specific social background of baby boomers women must also be taken into account in the design of prevention and intervention projects for women's psychological problems.
。 A common hypothesis is that caregiving is deleterious to women's mental health. International studies continue to emphasize the importance of mental health issues for women. Yet only a few researchers have used population-based surveys to explore the association between caregiving and depressive symptomatology in the context of the community, and even less is known about this aspect of Baby Boomer women in a global context.
。 The present study uses eight international surveys covering nineteen nations (N = 15,100) and uses multilevel logistic models to examine possible linkages between caregiving and the likelihood of depressive symptoms among Baby Boomer women, when taking individual-level and country-level social factors into consideration.
。 The various analyses found a significant variation in the likelihood of depressive symptoms among these Boomer women across the nations investigated and across both individual-level and country-level characteristics. The significant association of caregiving by women and the likelihood of depressive symptoms is related to their social status in some nations (OR = 1.30; p < 0.001). Boomer women living in countries with high rates of female participation in managerial/professional work (OR = 1.04; p < 0.05) and living in countries where women are often in vulnerable employment (OR = 1.01; p < 0.05) are at greater risk of depressive symptomatology.
。 These findings demonstrate that the depressive consequences of caregiving by women are, to some degree, contingent upon social context and structure. Policies aimed at promoting mental health among female Baby Boomers should therefore be context specific.
。 is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that considers articles on all aspects of the health and wellbeing of adolescent girls and women, with a particular focus on the physical, mental, and emotional health of women in developed and developing nations. The journal welcomes submissions on womens public health issues, health behaviours, breast cancer, gynecological diseases, mental health and health promotion.