Recently in Stream 3 Category

Background We examine the effects of caregiving on family life satisfaction among employed women by studying whether there are differences between those women who do not spend time caring for family members and those who do, comparing carers of young children, older family members, family members aged 12-64 and more than one family members having support needs. In order to further explore the significant factors associated with employed women's family life satisfaction, individual socio-demographic background, social support, and well-being are considered.

Methods We use data from the National women survey in Taiwan that 6014 women (aged 15 to 64) were recruited by random and completed a computer assisted telephone interview in September or October of 2006. In total, 53.3% (n=3,207) of them were employed and these employed women became our study samples. We conducted multiple regression models to examine the significance of associations between the factors. The first model includes types of care recipients. The second model explores possible exploratory factors by adding individual socio-demographics.

Results We found that 32.3% (n=1067) of employed women offered regular care to their family members. 87.0% (n=926) of them were caring for children younger than 12, 2.9% (n=27) for a family member aged 12-64, 6.8% (n=73) for an older family member; and 3.8% (n=41) for more than one family member. Multivariate analyses indicate that family care was associated with family life satisfaction of only those employed women who were caring for family members aged 12-64. As expected family life satisfaction was associated with educational attainment, marital status, health status, economic problems, emotional support and hours of housework. Unexpectedly, number of hours of neither paid work nor unpaid care work had significant relevance.

Conclusion This study suggests that the impacts of family caregiving on employed women's family life satisfaction are not one-dimensional. Instead, in order to improve their family life satisfaction, it is necessary to promote both women's health and economic and emotional well-being as well as to offer support for sharing housework, particularly for those employed women who are caring for family members aged 12-64.

Full paper: Chou_Y-C_2009_Carers.pdf

Presentation slides: Chou_Y-C_2009_Carers_slides.pdf

Young Carers in Taiwan: A Preliminary Research

This piece of research examines the experiences and needs of Taiwanese children and young people who regularly have to care for someone in their families. As a specific category of family care givers, 'young carers' are children and young people under the age of 18 who provide care to another family member who is suffering from a long-term illness or disability. Research in the UK has led to a growing understanding of the situation of young carers over the past 20 years. However, in Taiwan, hardly anything is known about the lives and experiences of young carers with family caring responsibilities. As a result, it is not surprising that young carers, both as carers and as children, remain hidden or invisible to the society and to service providers.

With the intension of raising professional and public awareness to the issue, which might lead to the growth of nationwide support services aimed specially at young carers, this study adopts in-depth interviews to allow children and young people to speak directly of what it is like to be a carer. The findings reveal that young carers perform a range of caring work at their homes, including housework, parenting younger siblings, emotional support, and personal care tasks. The study also highlights the impacts of caring on the children's everyday lives, such as school life, friendship, personal development, and long term effects. Based on the empirical evidence, the study puts forward recommendations for future policy in order to meet the needs of young carers.