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The Association Between Informal Caregiving and Exit From Employment Among Older Workers: Prospective Findings From the UK Household Longitudinal Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Ewan Carr, Emily T Murray, Paola Zaninotto, Dorina Cadar, Jenny Head, Stephen Stansfeld, Mai Stafford

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalJournals of Gerontology Series. B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Early online date6 Dec 2016
Accepted/In press14 Nov 2016
E-pub ahead of print6 Dec 2016


King's Authors


Objective: This study investigated associations between informal caregiving and exit from paid employment among older workers in the United Kingdom. Method: Information on caregiving and work status for 8,473 older workers (aged 50–75 years) was drawn from five waves of Understanding Society (2009–2014). We used discrete-time survival models to estimate the associations of caring intensity and type on the probability of exiting paid work (from >0 to 0 hours/week) in the following year. Models were stratified by sex and working hours, and adjusted for age, self-rated health, long-standing illness, occupation, and partner’s employment status. Results: No association was found between caregiving intensity and exit from paid work. Full-time employees who pro- vided care within the household (women and men) or cared for a partner/spouse (women only) more likely to stop working, compared to those not providing care. Women who entered a caregiving role (more than 10 hours/week) were between 2.64 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.46, 4.79) and 4.46 (95% CI: 2.53, 7.88) times more likely to exit work (for part-time and full-time workers, respectively), compared to women providing no care. Discussion: This study highlights the onset of caregiving as a key period for older workers. Ensuring that caregiving responsibilities are adequately recognized and supported may help extend working life.

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