Daughters-in-Law as Caregivers to the Elderly
AbstractUsing the 1982 Informal Caregiver's Survey, this research examines the contributions of daughters-in-law relative to daughters in the care of elderly parents (in-law) (N = 658). Findings suggest that among those who provide care, daughters-in-law assist with as many caregiving tasks and are as likely to perceive themselves as the primary caregiver. However, daughters-in-law provide, on average, 6 fewer hours of care per week. In addition, of these caregivers, 85% are daughters, whereas only 15% are daughters-in-law. Thus, although daughters-in-law are willing to assist with as many tasks and assume primary responsibility similar to daughters, they provide less overall care and are less likely to become caregivers in the first place. The relative caregiving contributions of daughters-in-law is placed within the context of the expectations and obligations of affinal versus consanguineal kin. Possible causes of lower obligation toward affinal kin are explored.