Caregiving: The Impact on Emotional Support for Single Women

Document Type


Publication Date



Even though filial caregivers are typically daughters rather than sons, examinations of caregiving have not adequately considered the impact of gender and marital status differences on the support systems that mediate the strain of caring. Because of competing demands on time and energy, caregivers make many changes in their personal activities while maintaining work and immediate family responsibilities. The friendships that provide emotional support for singles are perceived as less important than familial relationships. Therefore, the assumption is made that the single adult daughter has less to give up as compared to her married siblings. The parallel emotional support systems of the married and single caregivers go unrecognized. This study of never-married women over age 30 reveals that these caregivers essentially foreclosed social relationships in order to provide care.