This research was conducted as part of the Work, Family and Health Network (www.WorkFamilyHealthNetwork.org), which is funded by a cooperative agreement through the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grant # U01HD051217, U01HD051218, U01HD051256, U01HD051276), National Institute on Aging (Grant # U01AG027669), Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Grant # U01OH008788, U01HD059773). Grants from the William T. Grant Foundation, Alfred P Sloan Foundation, and the Administration for Children and Families have provided additional funding. This work was also supported by the National Institute On Aging of the National Institutes of Health under [Award Number F31AG050385] to Nicole DePasquale.
American Journal of Men's Health
Fathers -- Health behavior, Male caregivers, Relationship quality
Men in the U.S. are increasingly involved in their children’s lives and currently represent 40% of informal caregivers to dependent relatives or friends aged 18 years or older. Yet, much more is known about the health effects of varying family role occupancies for women relative to men. The present research sought to fill this empirical gap by first comparing the health behavior (sleep duration, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, exercise, fast food consumption) of men who only occupy partner roles and partnered men who also fill father, informal caregiver, or both father and informal caregiver (i.e., sandwiched) roles. The moderating effects of perceived partner relationship quality, conceptualized here as partner support and strain, on direct family role-health behavior linkages were also examined. Secondary analysis of survey data from 366 cohabiting and married men in the Work, Family and Health Study indicated that men’s multiple family role occupancies were generally not associated with health behavior. With men continuing to take on more family responsibilities, as well as the serious health consequences of unhealthy behavior, the implications of these null effects are encouraging: additional family roles can be integrated into cohabiting and married men’s role repertoires without health behavior risks. Moderation analysis revealed, however, that men’s perceived partner relationship constituted a significant factor in determining whether multiple family role occupancies had positive or negative consequences for their sleep duration, alcohol consumption, and fast food consumption. These findings are discussed in terms of their empirical and practical implications for partnered men and their families.
Published as: DePasquale, N., Polenick, C. A., Hinde, J., Bray, J. W., Zarit, S. H., Moen, P., ... & Almeida, D. M. (2018). Health behavior among men with multiple family roles: The moderating effects of perceived partner relationship quality. American journal of men's health, 12(6), 2006-2017.