The Health Effects of Spousal Caregiving on Middle-Aged and Older Mexican Adults: A Targeted Estimation Approach

Jacqueline Torres , RWFJ Health & Society Scholars, University of California, San Francisco / University of California
Kara Rudolph, University of California, Davis
Uchechi Mitchell, University of Illinois at Chicago
Mienah Z. Sharif, California Center for Population Research (CCPR)
Rebeca Wong, University of Texas at Galveston
Maria Glymour, University of California, San Francisco

While research from high-income countries points to the adverse health effects of family caregiving, less is known about this relationship in low and middle-income countries. We use Targeted Maximum Likelihood Estimation, a doubly robust estimation approach, to evaluate the health impacts of spousal caregiving in the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), a population-based cohort study of middle-aged and older adults in Mexico. We find that spouse's need for assistance with activities of daily living (ADLs) was nearly synonymous with spousal provision of assistance with these ADLs in the MHAS. At baseline, having a spouse who needs assistance with ADLs was associated with more past-week depressive symptoms and lower-body functional limitations for both men and women. The full paper will expand these estimates to cover 14 years of follow-up and incorporate time-varying caregiving exposure, time-varying confounders, and respondent attrition.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging