EXPLAINING THE LONG-DISTANCE PARENT CAREGIVING BURDEN OF THE UNITED STATES FOREIGN SERVICE AND MILITARY
preparedness for caregiving
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Purpose: To respond to global trends in aging, healthcare, technology and mobile labor markets, this cross-sectional, correlational study examined the burden of long-distance parent caregivers, or adults coordinating parent care remotely, by using a convenience sample of U.S. active-duty military personnel and Foreign Service Officers. Methods: 79 respondents completed an anonymous online survey containing standardized scales. The relationship between variables was tested using multiple regression analysis and One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Results: Preparedness for caregiving was negatively correlated with subjective and objective caregiving burden in multiple regression analysis. One-way ANOVA revealed a statistically significant difference in subjective burden based on caregiving intensity. There was also a significant difference in objective burden based on the reason the recipient needed care, but post-hoc analysis found no inter-group differences that passed the Bonferroni adjusted cutoff for significance. Multiple regression analysis demonstrated that the gender of the caregiver, availability of a sibling support network and instrumental support were not significantly correlated with burden. Conclusions and Implications: Preparedness for caregiving had the strongest relationship to distance caregiving burden in this study. Findings may inform intervention strategies to limit the strains of caregiving and support other distance caregiver subgroups, such as other U.S. Government employees and other Americans living overseas. Future longitudinal research is needed to understand causality and the relationship between variables in the long-distance caregiving trajectory over time.
Berit Ingersoll-Dayton, PhD