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Moving Beyond Self-InterestPerspectives from Evolutionary Biology, Neuroscience, and the Social Sciences$
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Stephanie L. Brown, R. Michael Brown, and Louis A. Penner

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195388107

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388107.001.0001

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The Costs and Benefits of Informal Caregiving

The Costs and Benefits of Informal Caregiving

Chapter:
11 The Costs and Benefits of Informal Caregiving
Source:
Moving Beyond Self-Interest
Author(s):

Richard Schulz

Joan K. Monin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195388107.003.0053

This chapter explores the costs and benefits of informal caregiving at the individual level. On the cost side of the equation we describe the negative physical and psychological health effects of caregiving as well as the effects of caregiving on labor force participation and vice versa. On the benefits side we describe recent findings that caregiving may be psychologically or physically beneficial to caregivers. We reconcile these divergent literatures and show how caregiving can either help and harm the caregiver depending on the intensity of care demands, the magnitude of care recipient suffering, and caregivers’ ability to positively affect care recipient outcomes.

Keywords:   caregiving, informal caregiving, caregiver, care recipient

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