The rapid aging of the population over the past decades has had several consequences in the lives of Japanese men and women. First, as the older population increases, more men and women today need to take care of their older relatives while in their in mid to late adulthood. Second, all adult citizens, regardless of gender or age, are expected to work resulting from a shortage in the working population. The question addressed in this research is how Japanese men and women juggle the roles of caregivers and paid workers simultaneously. International literature suggests that caregiving may produce a role conflict or strain that would negatively affect the well-being of working caregivers; although this has not been fully examined under the current sociocultural context of Japan. This paper aims to study how family caregiving affects the well-being of Japanese working men and women, using nationwide survey data that were collected in 2019. Through a series of regression analyses, it was found that providing care to their own parents is likely to produce a work–family conflict among working women in their mid to late adulthood; however, such associations were not necessarily observed for all types of care. Significant well-being differences between female caregivers and non-caregivers were discovered and work–family conflict accounted for some of those differences; these associations were not observed among their male counterparts. Results suggest that the consequences of combining work and caregiving may depend on the types of care and gender in Japanese society today.
Saeko Kikuzawa, Hosei University, Japan
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