First Advisor

Margaret Neal

Term of Graduation

Spring 2002

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration and Policy


Public Administration




Caregivers, Dual-career families, Sandwich generation, Work and family, Longitudinal studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 170 pages)


Research has shown that more men and women are occupying multiple roles as employees and caregivers to a child or an elder. The proliferation of women in the U.S. workforce since the 1960's has resulted in a “typical” American family that no longer consists of an employed father and stay-at-home mother, but rather one in which the father and mother both work outside the home. Indeed, the “dual-earner” family is the dominant family form in the U.S. today and into the foreseeable future. The aging and increased longevity of the American population, coupled with changes in the level and timing of fertility, mean more of these dual-earner men and women will face multigenerational caregiving concerns as they become responsible for caring for their children as well as their aging parents. That is, they will join the so-called “Sandwich(ed) Generation.”

The intent of this study is to more fully understand the functioning of the work-family system by examining how the quality of family caregiving roles experiences, that is, the stressors and rewards associated with roles as parent and as caregiver to a frail or disabled parent, affects the work outcomes of absenteeism, work performance, and intention to quit for dual-earner couples in the sandwiched generation. This question was addressed via a longitudinal analysis of data from a sample of 234 dual-earner couples living within the continental United States.

Findings indicated that: child care stress was positively related to change over time in working less effectively for men; the interaction of parent care rewards and parent care stress was related to change over time in absenteeism for women; the interaction of parent care rewards and child care rewards was related to change over time in intention to quit for men; and the interaction of child care rewards and child care stress was related to change over time in intention to quit for women. The implications of these findings for employer-sponsored workplace programs and policies, public policy, and labor unions are discussed.


In Copyright. URI:

This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).


If you are the rightful copyright holder of this dissertation or thesis and wish to have it removed from the Open Access Collection, please submit a request to and include clear identification of the work, preferably with URL.

Persistent Identifier