The association between membership in the sandwich generation and health behaviors: A longitudinal study

Laurie Chassin, Jon T. Macy, Dong Chul Seo, Clark Presson, Steven J. Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current study examined the association between membership in the sandwich generation, defined as providing care to both children and parents or in-laws, and five health behaviors: checking the food label for health value when buying foods, using a seat belt, choosing foods based on health value, exercising regularly, and cigarette smoking. Participants (N = 4943) were from a longitudinal study of a midwestern community-based sample. Regression analyses tested the unique effect of sandwich generation membership on health behaviors above and beyond demographic factors and prior levels of the same behavior. Compared to other caregivers and noncaregivers, multigenerational caregivers were less likely to check food labels and choose foods based on health values. Multigenerational caregivers were less likely than noncaregivers and those who cared for children only to use seat belts, and they smoked marginally more cigarettes per day than those groups. Multigenerational caregivers were less likely than noncaregivers and those who cared for parents/in-laws only to exercise regularly. Thus, in general, healthy behaviors were diminished for multigenerational caregivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-46
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Developmental Psychology
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Caregiving
  • Health behaviors
  • Sandwich generation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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