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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Against the odds : a gendered analysis of sons’ involvement in filial care Walsh, Angela


The objective of this thesis is to examine factors that predict soil's involvement in filial care. In addition to exploring selected family structure and demographic factors that relate to men's involvement in different types of care, the gender and health status of the care recipient were considered as integral components in the provision of filial care. Data for this research comes from the Work and Eldercare Survey (1995) conducted by the Work and Eldercare Research Group of CARNET: The Canadian Aging Research Network. Data from 108 adult male caregivers were analyzed with regards to their involvement in three gendered types of care traditionally female (e.g. bathing), traditionally male (e.g. yard work) and gender neutral care (e.g. shopping). This thesis tests a model that was originally devised by Campbell and Martin- Matthews (2003) and is predicated on Finch and Mason's (1989) concept of legitimate excuses, which explores the 'how' and 'why' behind men's limited involvement in filial care. Results show that the men in this sample were more likely to report providing gender neutral care than the other two types of care. Furthermore, the expectation that other family and work obligations would impede men's involvement in caregiving was not supported. However, numerous characteristics of the elderly care recipient did influence the likelihood of men's involvement in numerous types of filial care. Men were more likely to provide gender neutral and traditionally male care to mothers than to fathers. Also, for each of the types of care, the lower the reported health status of the care recipient, the greater the likelihood of son's being involved in care provision.

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