Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Joan K. Monin


Purpose of the study: To examine differences related to gender of adult child primary caregivers, caregiving patterns, and the association with care-recipients' physical and mental health and cognitive status.

Design and Method: A secondary analysis of the most recent national cross-sectional survey (National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS)) was conducted on 5616 community dwelling older adults (65 years of age or older). The relationships between gender of their adult child caregivers and intensity and duration of care, type of care provided, care-recipients' physical and mental health (self-reported health status, number of chronic diseases, depression and anxiety) and cognitive status were analyzed by bivariate and multivariate procedures.

Results: No statistically significant gender differences were found with regard to the duration of care, care-recipients' physical and mental health or cognitive status; however, type of care provided by adult child primary caregivers was found to differ significantly between men and women. Women provided more care with activities of daily living than men did.

Implications: Our study provides evidence in support of there being gender differences in family caregiving patterns to older people in western industrial countries. Interventions may need to be tailored to the distinct needs of son and daughter caregivers.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access