Combining Employment and Caregiving: An Intricate Juggling Act

Combining Employment and Caregiving: An Intricate Juggling Act

Combining Employment and Caregiving: An Intricate Juggling Act

Combining Employment and Caregiving: An Intricate Juggling Acts

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Référence bibliographique [6714]

Guberman, Nancy et Maheu, Pierre. 1999. «Combining Employment and Caregiving: An Intricate Juggling Act ». Revue canadienne du vieillissement / Canadian Journal on Aging, vol. 18, no 1, p. 84-106.

Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs

Intentions :
« The aim of the study on which the article is based was to understand how women who are employed and who assume primary care-giving responsibilities to a dependent adult family member manage to juggle the various demands put on them. Its focus is thus not on either caregiving or employment per se, but rather on the point where the demands of the two spheres converge and must be mediated by what we have called ’juggling work’, work which itself is conditioned by the specific context in which it operates. A challenge facing researchers, and which this article attempts to meet, is to do justice to the complexity of the process. Rather than try to analyze in a more focussed but also fragmented fashion the role or impact of specific variables, our aim is to try and identify, in an exploratory manner, the diverse factors which influence the juggling work itself. » (p. 87)

Questions/Hypothèses :
« How do caregivers decide to reduce or modify the nature of their involvement in caregiving because of work demands? When and why do they choose to modify labour market participation? What are the factors, the conditions and the context under which elements such as levels of impairment, nature of care provided or gender, emerge as variables predicting eldercare interference with work? This article attempts to answer some of these questions. » (p. 86)

2. Méthode

Échantillon/Matériau :
Entrevues semi-structurées menées auprès de 25 Québécoises francophones volontaires ayant un emploi hors du foyer et s’occupant également d’un proche dépendant à la maison (un ou des parents ou beaux-parents, 14; d’enfants adultes handicapés mentaux, 7; d’un conjoint, 4).

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé

« This article examines the process which allows caregivers to combine employment and caregiving. Using an interactionist approach, the authors present the factors which determine this process, based on a qualitative study with 25 female caregivers. The article proposes that the effects of caregiving on employment are the result of the degree to which caregivers manage to maintain balance between different life spheres: personal and social life, family life, caregiving and employment. This balance is achieved by a complex process of coordination, negotiation, and mediation which the authors call ’juggling work’ and which itself is determined by a series of factors, conditions, and contextual elements. Some of these elements include informal support systems, caregiver’s organizational and mobilization skills, care receiver’s and family’s attitudes toward substitute care arrangements, workplace conditions, and caregiver’s motives for working and motives for caring. » (résumé)