The expected increasing demand for informal care in aging societies underscores the importance of understanding the psychological implications of caregiving. This study explores the effect of providing regular help with personal care to a partner on different aspects of psychological well-being. We use cross-sectional data from the Norwegian Life Course, Ageing and Generation study (n. ~15,000; age 40-84) and two-wave panel data from the Norwegian study on Life Course, Ageing and Generation (n. ~ 3000; age 40-84). To separate the effects of providing care from those of the partner’s disability, caregivers are contrasted with non-caregivers with both disabled and nondisabled partners. We separate outcomes into cognitive well-being (life satisfaction), psychological functioning (self-esteem, mastery), and affective well-being (happiness, depression, loneliness). Findings show that caregiving has important cross-sectional and longitudinal detrimental psychological effects. These effects are fairly consistent across all aspects of well-being, demonstrating that caregiving has a broad-based negative impact. Among women, however, these effects are similar to if not weaker than the effects of a partner’s disability. Caregiving effects are constant by age, education, and employment status, but stronger among caregivers with health problems. Providing personal care to a partner is associated with marked adverse psychological effects for men and women irrespective of age and socio-economic status. Hence, no socio-demographic group is immune from caregiving stress, so programs should be targeted generally. The results also suggest that the health needs of caregivers demand more attention.
Using data on individuals born 1946 to 1972 from the Norwegian Generations and Gender Survey (N = 7,587) we examine differentials in the number and incidence of co-residential relationships by gender and socioeconomic status. Regarding number of relationships, we found that women and younger respondents more often than men and older respondents reported having had two or more unions. 10% of the men and 5% of the women had no union experience by age 35. Controlling for relevant characteristics, our multivariate results showed that high income men experienced fewer unions than lower income men. Having a low income increased the odds of remaining single among men, whereas there was a positive association between tertiary education and remaining unpartnered among women.
We use the theory of planned behavior to investigate the role of attitudes, norms and perceived behavioural control on short-term and long-term fertility intentions, using data from Norway (N = 1,307). There is some evidence that, net of other background variables, positive scores on these factors makes it easier to establish concrete childbearing plans, especially among parents. Subjective norms are particularly important among both parents and childless adults, while perceptions of behavioural control have no additional effect once the actual life situation is taken into account. Attitudes are not important in decisions about the timing of becoming a parent, probably because the main issue for childless adults is not the timing, but the decision to have a child or not.
Neyer, Gerda and Lappegård, Trude and Vignoli, Daniele
Does gender equality matter for fertility? Demographic findings to this question are rather inconclusive. We argue that gender equality is a complex issue that needs to be conceptualized in a way which includes gender equity and allows for gender differences but uncovers gender inequalities. We explore this approach by investigating the impact of four dimensions of gender equality on women´s and men´s childbearing intentions in Europe: the possibility to maintain a household, the capabilities to choose, the resources to have agency, and gender equity in household work and in care. We apply logistic regressions to data of the Generations and Gender Survey. Our results suggest that gender equality and fertility intentions are intertwined in a multi-faceted way, and that gender equality in the areas which we examine exert different impacts on women’s and men’s childbearing intentions. Our study also confirms that parenthood still constitutes a dividing line between more and less gender equality, and that this affects childbearing intentions of childless women and childless men differently than that of mothers and fathers. This necessitates an approach which allows identifying the essential gender inequalities in employment, in society, and in the family which matter for childbearing decisions.